The Palestinian population should not pay the price for the atrocities committed by militant Islamist group Hamas against Israel, France said on Wednesday, expressing “serious concern” about Israeli operations inside the Al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip.
“The Palestinian population should not be made to pay for Hamas’s crimes, even less so the vulnerable, injured or sick and the humanitarian workers who courageously continue their work in extremely dangerous conditions,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
Israeli soldiers on Wednesday raided and then combed through Al-Shifa, Gaza’s main hospital. It is a key objective in their war on Hamas but has raised fears for thousands of patients and other civilians trapped inside.
France “expresses its very serious concern about Israeli military operations in Al-Shifa hospital,” the ministry said.
The French foreign ministry said it emphasised “the absolute necessity for Israel to comply with international humanitarian law, which particularly provides for the protection of hospital infrastructure”.
In an interview with the BBC last week, President Emmanuel Macron called on Israel to stop bombing civilians in Gaza, saying there was “no justification” and the deaths were causing “resentment”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to destroy Hamas in response to its attacks on October 7, which killed an estimated 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw 240 hostages taken to Gaza.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says Israel’s ensuing aerial bombardment and ground offensive have killed 11,320 people, mostly civilians, including thousands of children.