Israel's right to security does not justify its actions in Gaza, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday, as he called for a political solution to be "imposed" by the international community.
"How many more deaths will it take to stop what must be called the carnage in Gaza?" Fabius said in a statement. "The tradition of friendship between Israel and France is an old one and Israel's right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians."
The statement comes amid global outrage over an Israeli strike next to a UN school where ten people were killed, among them civilians who had been seeking refuge from the violence.
Fabius said Islamist group Hamas, the de facto rulers of Gaza, "clearly carries an overwhelming responsibility" for the conflict but that Israel was not justified in carrying out what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called "a criminal act" with the attack near the school.
"That is why we support and demand the establishment of a real ceasefire as proposed by Egypt and why we are ready, as French and Europeans, to contribute to it in a concrete way," he said.
"It is also why a political solution is essential… and should in my opinion be imposed by the international community," Fabius said.
His statement comes a day after French Prsident François Hollande denounced the "unacceptable" bombing the UN school in Rafah.
The French president did not say who he considered responsible for Sunday's attack, but backed calls by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "to ask that those responsible for this violation of international law answer for their actions".
Responsibility for the attack had not been formally established by Sunday evening.
The Israeli army said it had targeted "three terrorists" from the Islamic Jihad group riding a motorcycle near the Rafah school and was examining the "consequences of this strike".