France’s Foreign Minister is calling on the international community to impose a solution on Israel and Hamas, saying the warring sides have shown themselves unable to negotiate.
In an unusually strong statement Monday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Israel’s right to security “does not justify the killing of children and the massacre of civilians.” France is closely allied with Israel, and Fabius’ statement was a rare direct criticism.
The Gaza war, in its fourth week, has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, injured more than 9,000 Palestinians – mostly civilians – as well as 63 Israeli soldiers.
Fabius said a cease-fire, followed by a two-state solution, is needed and “should be imposed by the international community because, despite numerous attempts, the two sides have shown themselves to be incapable of concluding negotiations.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki will push Tuesday for a war crimes case against Israel as a three-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas took effect at 0500 GMT, Reuters reported.
During the 72-hour truce, mediated by Egypt, Israel and Hamas are to hold indirect talks in Cairo on a broader deal that would prevent future cross-border violence.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli Army announced all forces will have withdrawn from the Strip by the start of the ceasefire, a military spokesman was quoted as saying by the Associated Press (AP).
“The Israel Defense Forces will be redeployed in defensive positions outside the Gaza Strip and we will maintain those defensive positions,” Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner told reporters.
Source: AP; Reuters - Photo: ANP/EPA