Macron to visit Tel Aviv

Paris, The Gulf Observer: French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Tel Aviv on Tuesday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his office announced.

His visit comes more than two weeks after Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7 and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials. Among them were 30 French citizens.

Israel says around 1,500 Hamas fighters were killed in clashes before its army regained control of the area under attack.

Since then, more than 4,600 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in relentless Israeli bombardments in retaliation for the attacks by the Palestinian Islamist militant group, according to the latest toll from the Hamas health ministry in Gaza.

Seven French citizens are still missing: one of them, a French woman, has been confirmed as among the hostages taken by Hamas. Macron has said the others are also thought to be hostages, but there has not yet been confirmation.

US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni have already visited Israel.

Biden discussed the war over the phone on Sunday with these leaders, alongside Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.