Macron calls again for immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza

Palestinians walk past a destroyed tower after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on May 19, 2021. [Xinhua]

French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated France's call for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza during his phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

Macron expressed his solidarity with the Israeli people following the attack launched by Iran against Israel on the night of April 13-14, according to a French presidency press release.

The French president "reiterated his firm opposition to an Israeli offensive on Rafah in southern Gaza, which would only aggravate an already catastrophic situation in Gaza and increase the risks of escalation."

He also spoke of the absolute urgency of guaranteeing a massive influx of humanitarian aid through all access points to the Gaza Strip and emphasized France's priority of an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

He reiterated the two-state solution is the only way to ensure lasting peace in the Middle East.

Macron held a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to discuss the Middle East situation the same day.