Emmanuel Macron promised on Thursday to set "in the coming weeks" the date of a tribute to the victims of the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel, saying he would have to wait because families "still have hostages".
"Obviously, we will pay tribute to all the children who have left and all the loved ones. Simply, it is in consultation with the families that I will decide on the date," the head of state explained during a ceremony at the Élysée Palace where he was presented with the annual prize of the European Conference of Rabbis (CER) which rewards the fight against anti-Semitism and the safeguarding of religious freedoms.
"That's why I waited, because several of these families have lost children, relatives, and still have hostages," Macron added, according to comments reported by a participant.
'Not a trial and error'
The president of the Central Consistory of France Elie Korchia had called on Wednesday Emmanuel Macron to "officially announce" a date for this tribute ceremony.
"How can we pay tribute when there is concern?" the president said on Thursday. "I hope you will understand with me what is not a hesitation, what is not a trial and error," he added, promising to set a date "in the coming weeks."
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The war between Israel and Hamas, sparked by the attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7, entered its third month on Thursday.
According to Israel, 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack, and 240 people were abducted. Hamas' Health Ministry on Thursday reported 17,177 deaths in the Israeli bombardment that followed.