Emmanuel Macron with Isaac Herzog
Emmanuel Macron with Isaac HerzogAmos Ben Gershom / GPO

French President Emmanuel Macron, on Sunday, called President Isaac Herzog to clarify comments he made during an interview with the BBC on Friday in which he called on Israel to "stop killing Gazan women and children."

President Macron made clear that he does not and did not intend to accuse Israel of intentionally harming innocent civilians in the campaign against the terrorist organization Hamas. President Macron also emphasized that he unequivocally supports Israel's right and duty to self-defense and expressed his support for Israel's war against Hamas.

President Macron explained that his comments during the interview were made in reference to the humanitarian situation, which remained an important issue for him and many countries. He went on to say that it was important to find and assist in delivering humanitarian solutions for citizens in Gaza. President Macron reiterated to President Herzog his commitment to demanding the immediate release of the hostages and noted he was working to help on this important issue.

President Herzog stated in their conversation that President Macron's comments, as reported in the media over the weekend, had caused much pain and upset in Israel, and noted it was good that President Macron had clarified his words last night and today in various publications, and now in a conversation between them. The President reiterated that the State of Israel and the IDF continue to act in a humanitarian manner and in accordance with international law. He noted that Israel took all possible measures to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians. He also emphasized that the full responsibility for harm caused to innocent people in the Gaza Strip rested with the terrorist organization Hamas.

President Herzog reiterated the enormous importance of the commitment of every relevant international entity to assist in the return of the hostages as a humanitarian mission of the highest order. The President shared with President Macron that just before their conversation, he had watched the horrific footage of the barbaric acts committed by Hamas and expressed his deep shock at what he had witnessed. In addition, he recommended to President Macron that all world leaders watch the footage in order to remember and remind them of the enemy that faced Israel and the entire world - an enemy of pure evil against whom Israel must act, just as President Macron had noted when he compared the war against Hamas to that conducted by the Global Coalition that fought against ISIS.