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French President Emmanuel Macron called Hamas's attack on Israel an “earthquake” for the region and the world, vowing that his country would stand side by side with Israel.
“This event is an earthquake in the Middle East and beyond,” he said.
He also said that there would be a “strong and fair” response to the Hamas attacks.
In an address on French television, Mr Macron offered support to Israel and also to France’s Jewish population.
He referred to the Hamas attacks as “terrorism” and said Israel had a right to defend itself.
“Those who confuse the Palestinian cause and the justification of terrorism commit a strong moral, political and strategic error,” he added.
But he also said the only way to resolve the crisis was security guarantees for Israel and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Mr Macron said 13 French citizens had died in the violence.
He also promised that France would do everything it could to ensure the release of the dozens of hostages held by Hamas.
“France is doing everything alongside Israeli authorities and our partners to bring them home safely because France never abandons its children,” Mr Macron said.
The French President said a war without end was not the solution.
“Israel has the right to defend itself by eliminating terrorist groups, including Hamas through targeted actions, but also by preserving civilian populations because that's the duty of democracies,” he said.
“We cannot resign ourselves to an endless war in this region. The fight against terrorism cannot replace the search for peace. The conditions for a lasting peace are known.”
He added that 10,000 police and army soldiers were involved in providing security for the country's Jewish population.