President of France Emanuel Macron dropped a diplomatic bombshell during his visit to Israel yesterday when he proposed that the international coalition fighting ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) should widen its mandate and fight against Hamas in the Gaza Strip as well. This is the clearest military proposal by an international figure after the US commitment to guarantee Israel’s security should a northern front develop and should Iran decide to go to war against Israel. The coalition against ISIS consists of dozens of countries; Israel Is not one of them. The coalition is led by the US.
Macron is the latest in a series of European leaders to have come to Israel to demonstrate solidarity with the Israeli people and with the government of Israel. The whole of France itself is on alert for fear that the war in the Gaza Strip will spread to the French street, after a series of Islamist incidents, including a terror attack by ISIS and demonstrations in support of Gaza.
At a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the French president said, "France is prepared to expand the international coalition against the Islamic State in which we participate in Syria and in Iraq to the war against Hamas as well.’ At the same time, Macron called for the Middle East peace process to be restarted, specifically between Israel and the Palestinians, in order to present a clear alternative to Hamas’s rule in the Gaza Strip.
"We must build a regional and international coalition to fight terrorist organizations that endanger us all," Macron added. The European Union defines Hamas as a terrorist organization. A source at the Élysée Palace told a French television channel that the president’s proposal "draws its inspiration from the experience of the international coalition against ISIS, aspects of which could be duplicated in the fight against Hamas."
The coalition against ISIS comprises 86 countries, among them the EU countries and the entire Arab League. It is aimed at eliminating the Islamic State organization through military means in the field, and also through international sanctions designed to prevent it from recruiting new activists. "The battle (against Hamas) has to be without mercy, but not without law, because we are democracies that respect the laws of war and ensure the provision of humanitarian supplies. Today, I offer you the deep condolences and the solidarity of France," Macron said at the press conference. "Both our countries are now partners in mourning."
The French president has consistently promoted a vision of a stronger Europe that will not fear to intervene militarily in regional disputes that could affect it, whether it be in the Sahel region in Africa or in the Middle East. At least nine people abducted by Hamas in the events of October 7 are French citizens.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 25, 2023.
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