French President Emmanuel Macron met with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday and called for the international coalition initially built to fight against ISIS to now target Hamas.
The U.S.-led coalition has fought ISIS in the Middle East for years, and Macron did not offer details about how the coalition could be involved in Israel’s retaliatory war against Hamas. Israel has appeared poised for a ground invasion of Gaza for more than a week.
‘France is ready for the international coalition against Daesh in which we are taking part for operations in Iraq and Syria to also fight against Hamas,’ he told reporters, using another term used for ISIS.
He added that the fight against Hamas ‘must be without mercy but not without rules.’
Netanyahu has called for international support for the war against Hamas, but Israel has not requested any foreign boots on the ground. The U.S. has devoted two aircraft carrier strike groups to the Eastern Mediterranean as a deterrent for Iran, Hezbollah or other regional powers from joining the war against Israel.
Both Israeli and U.S. officials have suggested that U.S. forces would intervene should Iran or its proxy, Hezbollah, join the war.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have been massed around the Gaza Strip for more than a week, poised for an invasion. That order has yet to come down, however, and hostage negotiations remain ongoing.
Hamas terrorists took more than 200 hostages during their Oct. 7 massacre in Israel. So far, two Americans and two Israelis have been released.
The IDF said Tuesday that it dropped leaflets in the Gaza Strip making a direct appeal to Palestinians to provide Israel with information on hostages held by Hamas.
‘If you want a better future for you and your children, take action and provide us with solid and useful information as soon as possible regarding the hostages in your area,’ the leaflet reads.
The Israelis are offering protection and even a monetary award to any Palestinian who comes forward with verifiable information leading to the rescue of an Israeli hostage.
Reuters contributed to this report.