France on Friday expressed its “surprise” and “lack of understanding” at an Israeli strike that hit the French Institute in Gaza, demanding explanations from Tel Aviv. It also condemned the bombing of United Nations facilities, humanitarian workers and the media.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said – in a statement to French media from the Nigerian capital, Abuja – that the raid on the French Institute in Gaza “raises our astonishment and lack of understanding.”
She pointed out that this raid prompted France to request explanations from the Israeli authorities to understand how a French cultural institute could be the target of an Israeli strike.
However, the minister added, “We are engaged in dialogue with our Israeli partners at various levels.”
French President Emmanuel Macron announced his support for Israel shortly after the operation Al-Aqsa flood Which was launched by the Palestinian resistance on the seventh of last October. Tel Aviv called for a “strong and just response.”
The French minister continued, “Today (Friday), as in recent days, United Nations facilities, humanitarian workers and media were subjected to Israeli strikes. Therefore, like others, France expressed its condemnation.”
Colonna stressed that “Israel, like any country, has the right to defend itself and its people, but it has a duty to do so in full compliance with international humanitarian law, that is, to protect the civilian population.”
Regarding the killing of journalists, the Minister told the French media, “More than 30 of your colleagues died in this conflict. Therefore, our position today was strongly expressed. I renew my condemnation of similar actions.”
Condemnation of the attacks
In a second statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned “the attacks on United Nations sites and humanitarian workers whose work is essential to the civilian population in Gaza, as well as on media headquarters,” but without explicitly referring to Israel.
The Agence France-Presse office in Gaza was severely damaged in a strike the day before yesterday, Thursday.
Yesterday, Friday, an Israeli army spokeswoman said, “According to the information we currently have, it appears that there was an Israeli army raid near the building to eliminate an imminent threat.”
On the other hand, Colonna announced the departure of 34 French citizens and their families from Gaza to Egypt via the Rafah crossing on Friday, noting that 5 French nationals had previously left the Gaza Strip.
She added that only some of the 170 French nationals, including employees of the cultural center and their families, have been able to leave so far.
For the 29th day in a row, the Israeli occupation army continues to bomb residential neighborhoods in Gaza, resulting in 9,227 martyrs, including 3,826 children and 2,405 women, in addition to 23,000 injured and more than 2,000 missing.
On the other hand, the occupation army announced the killing of 338 officers and soldiers since the beginning of the war on October 7th.