France has formally requested clarification from Israel regarding the death of a Foreign Ministry staff member during an airstrike on a residential building in southern Gaza, on Sunday evening.
During a joint press conference held in Tel Aviv with her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna emphasised the need for a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the targeting of the house where the staffer lost their life. Colonna stated, “We have requested a comprehensive investigation into the factors that led to the targeting of this residence following the explosion that resulted in the tragic death of our colleague.”
Colonna further indicated that Minister Cohen has committed to providing her with detailed information, expressing her expectation for a swift response with precise details and justifications regarding the decision to target the house. She underscored the lack of understanding and comprehension regarding the incident.
The French Foreign Ministry had already condemned the death of its staff member on Saturday, attributing it to injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah in southern Gaza. The ministry revealed that some of its personnel had sought refuge in the home of a colleague working at the French Consulate, which was subsequently subjected to Israeli shelling on December 13. The ministry strongly denounced the shelling of the residential building, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 10 other civilians, and called on Israeli authorities to promptly clarify the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Despite the tragic loss of the French staffer, Minister Colonna reaffirmed France’s support for “Israel’s right to self-defense” during the same press conference, emphasising her presence to convey France’s solidarity with the Israeli people.