Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinians to not “let the anti-Semitic” comments “from the Palestinians” “come to the fore” during a speech in the West Bank on Thursday, in a bid to counter growing tensions in the occupied territories.
Netanyahu’s speech, the first in a month, was widely viewed as an attempt to counter rising anti-Israel sentiment in the Palestinian territories, where more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in clashes since April.
Netayim addressed Palestinians and others in the Israeli-occupied territories and in the United Nations Security Council, calling for them to refrain from “anti-Jewish” remarks, according to a transcript of the speech posted on the prime minister’s official Facebook page.
Netanayim’s speech came after a week of violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths, in which at least 18 people have been wounded and dozens more detained.
On Thursday, Netanyahu also said that the Israeli government “will not tolerate any form of anti-Semitism.”
“In the past, the Palestinian leadership and the PLO did not allow for the growth of anti to anti-Israeli hatred.
This is no longer the case,” he said.
Netanyahus address came just hours after US President Donald Trump called on Israel to stop taking “anti” statements from Palestinians, saying they were “not representative of the people of Israel.”
Netanyahu has been widely criticized for his decision to host the speech in a closed-door meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials.
In a statement on Thursday morning, the prime minster said the address would “raise the level of discourse in the region in the face of incitement by the Palestinian Authority and Israeli leadership” and “provide an opportunity for dialogue and peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Netanelayim said he hoped the speech “will lead to the creation of a stronger and more stable peace in the Middle East and in North Africa.”