France Set to Send the Tonnerre to the Middle East
After leaving Israel earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron flew to Egypt where he met Egyptian head of state Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. During their meeting, Macron emphasized the need for Israel-Palestinian peace talks, arguing that it was the only way for Jews and Palestinians to live in harmony.
Moreover, the French President said France would send a navy ship to help hospitals in Gaza, which are finding it difficult to operate as they lack medical supplies and fuel. Macron said the ship, known as the Tonnerre, would leave Toulon city before Friday.
Humanitarian Aid Reaching Gaza is Still Insufficient
Since the Rafah crossing was opened over the weekend, minimal aid has entered the Gaza Strip, suggesting that most Palestinians still lack access to basic needs two weeks after Israel blocked the supply of water, food, and fuel to Gaza following the Hamas attack that caused the deaths of nearly 1,500 people inside the Israeli territory.
Since the Israel-Hamas conflict started, Macron’s administration has been accused of practising double standards in the manner it has approached the war. Last week, France banned pro-Palestinian rallies, claiming that they were causing public disturbance. The move did not sit well with some Arabic countries.
Meanwhile, Sissi and Macron have stressed the importance of avoiding a ground offensive in Gaza. The two leaders say Israel’s move may lead to further bloodshed. Instead, they want the Jewish nation to consider ceasing fire and embracing diplomacy.
Arab Leaders Call for Peace Negotiations
Several Arab leaders have also called for the resumption of Israel-Palestine peace talks, arguing that the current war could expand to the entire Middle East region. King Abdullah II of Jordan, who welcomed Macron on Tuesday, said the ongoing conflict posed a serious threat to the Middle East countries if it continued escalating.
While in Israel, Macron suggested that the international anti-Islamic State coalition needed to be expanded to help Israel eliminate Hamas. If the proposal is implemented and the terror group gets defeated, Gaza could be ruled by the Palestinian Authority once again. Hamas rose to power after executing a brutal coup on the Palestinian Authority leadership back in 2007.