French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne
French Foreign Minister Stephane SejourneReuters/HANS LUCAS

France's Foreign Minister, Stephane Sejourne, said on Tuesday that pressure, and possibly sanctions, must be imposed on Israel to open crossings to get humanitarian aid to Gaza, Reuters reported.

"There must be levers of influence and there are multiple levers, going up to sanctions to let humanitarian aid cross check points," Sejourne was quoted as having told local media outlets.

"France was one of the first countries to propose European Union sanctions on Israeli settlers who are committing acts of violence in the West Bank. We will continue if needed to obtain the opening of humanitarian aid," he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Israel near the start of the war with Hamas and expressed support for its right to defend itself from Hamas, but 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 and said 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 later 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.

Sejourne’s comments came one day after Macron, together with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, in an op-ed they wrote for The New York Times.