French President Emmanuel Macron assured, during his conversation with his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog, that he did not “accuse Israel of deliberately harming civilians” in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli presidency announced yesterday, Sunday, two days after the interview he granted on the BBC from the Elysee.

Mr Herzog praised the dialogue, which allowed Mr Macron to “clarify” his remarks, according to a press release from his services.

In his interview on British public radio and television, Mr Macron “urged Israel to stop” the “bombardment that kills civilians” in the Gaza Strip. He emphasized that “de facto today it is the civilians who are being bombed. Babies, women, old people are being bombed and killed.”

“President Macron made it clear that he had no intention of accusing Israel of intentionally harming innocent civilians as part of the campaign against the terrorist organization Hamas,” according to the press release.

The French head of state clarified that his statements “referred to the humanitarian situation, which remains an important issue for him and other countries”.

“He also underlined his unequivocal support for Israel’s right and duty to defend itself and expressed his support for Israel’s war against Hamas,” the text continues.

Mr. Macron’s statements “caused a lot of pain and contradictions in Israel”, added the Israeli presidency.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called them “factually and morally wrong” during a press conference last Saturday, repeating once again that “responsibility for the harm suffered by civilians should not be placed on Israel, but on Hamas.”