France calls for 'immediate truce' in Gaza, as Israel suspends minister over 'nuclear option'


France's Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna has called for an "immediate" humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas war as casualties climb in the besieged Gaza Strip. This comes as Israel has suspended a minister who said he was open to a nuclear strike on the enclave.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Qatar this Sunday, Colonna said "An immediate, durable and observed humanitarian truce is absolutely necessary and must be able to lead to a ceasefire."

France's top diplomat, who met with her Qatari counterpart in Doha, added that Paris was working to have a resolution on a truce adopted by the UN Security Council.

Her comments follow calls for a humanitarian "pause" by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is back for a second tour of the Middle East since the 7 October attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Such pauses were a key focus of Blinken's talks in Israel on Friday, but the proposal drew short shrift from hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu categorically refused to agree to a "temporary truce" with Hamas until the Islamist group releases more than 240 Israeli and foreign hostages it abducted during its 7 October attacks.

Since the Hamas attack, which Israeli officials say killed 1,400 people – mostly civilians – Israel has relentlessly bombarded the besieged Gaza Strip, levelling entire city blocks.

When asked in a radio interview about a hypothetical nuclear option, Eliyahu replied: "That's one way."

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
French Jewish groups set up hotline for people traumatised by Israel-Hamas war
Current aid system for Gaza 'geared to fail,' UN warns
First foreigners evacuated from Gaza through Rafah crossing into Egypt