Netanyahu and Macron
Netanyahu and MacronGPO

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that any forced transfer of people from the southern Gaza city of Rafah would constitute "a war crime", AFP reported.

In a telephone call between the two leaders, Macron also "strongly condemned" Israel's announcement Friday that about 8,000 dunam in the Jordan Valley have now been recognized as state lands and earmarked for the construction of hundreds of housing units, his office said.

Macron also repeated his opposition to any Israeli military operation to fight Hamas in Rafah and told Netanyahu he intended to bring a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for "an immediate and lasting ceasefire".

He urged Israel to immediately open all crossing points into Gaza, according to AFP.

While Macron visited Israel near the start of the war with Hamas and expressed support for its right to defend itself from Hamas, he has also been critical of Israel at times.

In an interview with the BBC in November, the French President said that Israel "should stop killing women and babies in Gaza".

Netanyahu responded to the French President's comments in a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz, saying that Macron "made a grave error" and adding, "We don't need these moral lectures."

A French political official later rejected Netanyahu's criticism, clarifying that Macron "has not changed his position" on Israeli action against Hamas but believes that Israel can and should do more to prevent harm to Palestinian Arab civilians in Gaza.

Macron recently appeared to cast doubt on Israel’s ability to eradicate Hamas, calling on Israel to clarify its goals in the war and claiming that totally destroying the organization could take 10 years.

In late December, the French President once again criticized Israel’s response to the Hamas October 7 attack, saying that fighting terrorism did not mean "to flatten Gaza".