The killing of senior French diplomat Catherine Colonna in Israel comes to demand a truce and lasting peace.
The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs condemned the Israeli bombing of a residential building in the city of Rafah, which led to the death of one of its employees in an area that had previously been declared a safe zone.
“France condemns this bombing, which targeted a residential building and led to the death of many other civilians. “We call on the Israeli authorities to shed full light on the circumstances of this bombing as soon as possible,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The house was bombed on Wednesday evening, killing the employee and 10 others who were taking shelter with colleagues and family members at the residential site.
The ministry said that the employee has been working with the French government in Gaza since 2002, and some of his family members have already been evacuated from Gaza, offering its condolences.
The ministry’s statement comes at a time when external pressure on Israel is increasing due to its “random” raids on Gaza. More than 80% of the approximately 19,000 Palestinian deaths are said to be civilians.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on Sunday called for an “immediate and permanent” truce in the Gaza war, adding that Paris was “deeply concerned” about the situation in the war-torn Palestinian territories.
“A very large number of civilians are being killed,” Colonna said during remarks in Tel Aviv with her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, as Israel continues its offensive after the October 7 attacks that led to escalating tensions across the region.
The Foreign Minister also condemned the October 7 attack carried out by Hamas and his plans to meet with the families of Israeli prisoners detained in the Gaza Strip.
At least 1,140 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the Hamas attack and another 240 were captured. Dozens of them were released in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners as part of a truce agreement late last month.
Colonna also intends to continue reaching an agreement with her Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Maliki, in the occupied West Bank during her visit.
Prior to her arrival in Israel, Colonna condemned the increasing attacks launched by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
“Since October 7, unfortunately, some settlers, driven by ideological blindness… have committed crimes” against Palestinians, she said, adding that “these settlers must be punished.”
More than 290 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank since October 7, according to the West Bank Ministry of Health.
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