Macron Claims Eliminating Hamas Would Take Israel ‘Ten Years’, Calls for Ceasefire and Two-State Talks

France's President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the COP28 United Na
LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron once again criticised Israel’s military efforts against the Islamist Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip and warned that it would take a decade to fully eradicate the terrorist organisation from the region.

Speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference in Dubai on Saturday, President Macron questioned Israel’s stated goal of whipping out the Hamas terrorists who have controlled Gaza since a bloody coup in 2007 and who were behind the barbaric October 7th attacks in Israel that saw over 1,200 people, mostly civilians, killed and 240 kidnapped.

In response to the attacks and the recent breaking of a seven-day truce by Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Saturday to deliver a “total victory” over Hamas to eliminate the terror threat in Gaza. Questioning the strategy, Macron said: “If that’s [the objective], the war will last ten years”.

The French president went on to call on Jerusalem to ensure that its “objective is clarified” to prevent an “endless war,” Le Figaro reported.

Macron also questioned Israel’s military tactics, saying that “the right response against a terrorist group is not to eliminate an entire territory or bomb the entire civilian capacity” and that “the good fight against terrorism is not systematic and permanent bombing.”

He said that the “sustainable security” of Israel was at risk if the military action against the terrorists “comes at the cost of Palestinian lives, and therefore the resentment of all public opinion in the region”. Therefore, Macron said that it is necessary to “redouble efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire, to obtain the release of all the hostages still held by Hamas and to bring to the people of Gaza the aid they urgently need.”

The French leader reiterated his call for negotiations for a two-state solution — which Islamist Palestinian leaders have consistently shot down for decades — saying that it is imperative “to give Israel the certainty that its security is restored while responding to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, by achieving the political purpose which is the promise of the two states.”

“When we have a security approach where political despair feeds all the resentments, we do not build our own security in the long term,” he said while proclaiming that there is a “legitimate right of the Palestinian people to have a state.”

Macron has previously come to loggerheads with Israel after he claimed last month that the Jewish state was intentionally killing “ladies and babies” in Gaza. In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu sternly rebuked the French president, saying that “the leaders of the world should be condemning Hamas – ISIS, not Israel.”

“The responsibility for any harm to civilians lies with Hamas – ISIS and not with Israel,” he said, pointing to the fact that Hamas routinely puts civilians in harm’s way by using “schools, mosques and hospitals as terrorist command centres.”

Macron’s latest comments were echoed over the weekend by Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said: “If we prioritise a two-state solution, the Gaza (issue) and threats will disappear. The exclusion of Hamas is not a realistic scenario.”

Erdoğan, who, like Macron, was also in attendance at the climate summit in Dubai, refused to distance his government from Hamas, proclaiming that despite pressure from NATO allies, he will “never accept Hamas as a terror group.”

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