France, Jordan urge Israel to lift Gaza aid restrictions

The French president and the king of Jordan called for a ceasefire in Gaza (Bertrand GUAY)
The French president and the king of Jordan called for a ceasefire in Gaza (Bertrand GUAY)

French President Emmanuel Macron and King Abdullah II of Jordan Monday called on Israel to lift all land-based "restrictions" on the delivery of aid to war-torn Gaza, the presidency said.

UN agencies have repeatedly warned of severe shortages of vital supplies in Gaza, exacerbated by restrictions on access by land and the closure of the key Rafah crossing with Egypt since Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side in early May.

Over lunch at the Elysee Palace, Macron and Abdullah II reiterated the need for an "immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza" and called for the release of all hostages -- including two French nationals.

The leaders also "expressed their deep concern about the situation in the West Bank and strongly condemned the violence committed by settlers", the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

They agreed to continue to work together on a "lasting and credible solution" to the war based on the "two-state solution" and welcomed reforms undertaken by the Palestinian government and called for them to be continued.

Referring to the intensification of tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border, Macron and Abdullah II warned against a "conflagration that would be catastrophic for the region", and reiterated their calls to all parties for "responsibility and restraint".

Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel that triggered the Gaza war resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

The militants also seized hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza although the army says 42 are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 37,626 people, also mostly civilians, the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said.