Emmanuel Macron has announced he will visit Qatar on Saturday in a bid to resurrect a truce between Israel and Hamas.
The French president said he would “try to engage for a new truce that could lead to a ceasefire” in the conflict, telling a press conference at the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai: “This situation requires stepped-up efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire.
Negotiators from Israel’s Mossad spy agency were recalled from truce talks in Qatar on Saturday by Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, after discussions reached an “impasse”.
Mr Macron also expressed doubt that Israel would be able to achieve its main aim of destroying Hamas.
“We are at a moment when Israeli authorities must more precisely define their objectives and their final goal,” he said. “The total destruction of Hamas, does anyone think it is possible? If this is the case, the war will last 10 years.
“There is no lasting security for Israel in the region if its security is achieved at the cost of Palestinian lives and thus of the resentment of public opinions in the region.”
A seven-day truce was held between Israel and Hamas until Friday morning, enabling the release of 108 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. More than 1,000 aid trucks were also able to enter the territory during the ceasefire.
Both sides have blamed the other for the collapse of the truce, which could have been extended by an extra day for every 10 additional hostages that were released.
The US has said Hamas’s failure to produce a list of hostages it could release on Friday was responsible for the ceasefire collapsing.