Forced Rafah population transfer would be a 'war crime', Macron warns Israel

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that any forced transfer of people from the southern Gaza city of Rafah would constitute "a war crime".

In a telephone call between the two leaders, Macron also "strongly condemned" Israel's announcement Friday of the seizure of 800 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank for new settlements, said his office.

Activists say Israel's declaration that the land in the northern Jordan Valley was now "state land" was the single largest such seizure in decades.

Macron also repeated his opposition to any Israeli military operation to fight Hamas in Rafah, where most of Gaza's population has taken shelter after months of fierce fighting in the besieged territory.

In the call, Macron told Netanyahu he intended to bring a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for "an immediate and lasting ceasefire".

He urged Israel to immediately open all crossing points into Gaza.

Macron also had talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II, during which they discussed the "unjustifiable humanitarian situation in Gaza", said the Elysee Palace.

Forcing civilians to run the risk of famine was "unjustifiable", the two leaders said.

However Israel has insisted it is necessary in its campaign to destroy Hamas.

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