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Hollande calls for end to Gaza suffering

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Hollande calls for end to Gaza suffering
French President François Hollande is calling for urgent action to stop the Gaza bloodshed. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP
18:08 CEST+02:00
French President François Hollande called on Monday for "everything" possible to be done in order to stop the civilian suffering in Gaza due to an Israeli bombing campaign and ground attack.
French President François Hollande on Monday called for urgent measures to stop the suffering in Gaza after a phone conversation with UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
 
"Everything must be done to put an immediate end to the suffering of the civil population in Gaza," a statement from Hollande's office said.
 
It quoted Ban, who is now in Cairo, as saying that he was working to try and "bring about a truce as soon as possible and an end to the crisis."
 
US Secretary of State John Kerry is also flying to the region after President Barack Obama urged an "immediate ceasefire", echoing a call by the UN Security Council.
 
These comments come on the heels of France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius comments on Saturday which called for a truce.

At a joint news conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, Fabius said his regional tour seeks to help "break the spiral of violence and to protect the civilian population as much as possible" in Gaza, where the Israeli bombardment has killed more than 500 Palestinians.

"The human toll is already heavy... and I repeat here in Amman, our absolute priority must be the ceasefire," he told reporters.

"The Egyptian initiative remains on the table and the objective is ceasefire. Jordan, France and other countries support the initiative."

The truce plan, which Egypt had proposed take effect last Tuesday, calls for a ceasefire followed by indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

But Hamas rejected the plan, insisting on negotiating key demands such as a guarantee to lift the blockade on Gaza's border crossings before it halts its rocket fire.

"This initiative has been widely supported by the international community and Arab countries," Fabius said.

"So now we need to ensure that the party that has rejected it accepts the plan to avoid losing more human lives," he added,  describing the toll in Gaza as "extremely tragic".

Fabius arrived in Amman from Cairo, where here made an "urgent" call for the truce, following talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is rallying international support for Cairo's ceasefire proposal while isolating Hamas.

The foreign minister said he was meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night, following the stopover in Amman.

"All countries involved in efforts to stop the bloodshed in Gaza support the ceasefire initiative, which seeks to end the violence and protect civilians," said Judeh, whose country has a 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

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