PARIS, July 9 (KUNA) -- In a departure for his usual and relatively-balanced policy on the Middle East conflict, French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday issued a strong message of support for Israel which he said should take all measures to protect its population faced with rocket attacks from the Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
The message was delivered in a telephone conversation Hollande had Wednesday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Hollande's office indicated in a statement.
Hollande expressed to Netanyahu "the solidarity of France in the face of rocket fire coming from Gaza."
The rockets fired by Hamas and associated Palestinian groups have killed no civilians and caused only minimal damage but the fear factor of these attacks has had a strong impact on the Israeli population.
Hollande recalled to Netanyahu that "France firmly condemns these aggressions," but the French leader made no mention of the Israeli attacks against targets in Gaza, where dozens of civilians, including women and children have been killed in the past two days.
"It is up to the Israeli government to take all measures to protect its population in the face of these threats (of rockets)," Hollande told the Israeli leader.
He also called for avoiding an escalation of the violence but he did not make any reference to the hundreds of Israeli air and sea strikes against targets in Gaza, which is one of the most densely population territories on the planet. (pickup previous)