Knessets Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Monday that Israel should have stopped the fighting in Gaza in the summer of 2016 but failed to do so, and that Netanyahu and the Israeli government were responsible for the ongoing bloodshed.
Edelstein’s comments come in the wake of a week in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders accused the Palestinians of committing genocide by killing over a thousand Palestinians during the conflict.
Edelsteins statement comes as the United Nations released a report on Tuesday that detailed Israeli military actions that killed at least 9,400 Palestinians during last summer’s conflict, and as the country continues to seek to bring about a lasting peace.
In a rare joint statement with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Israeli and US governments called on the international community to recognize the Palestinian state and end its blockade of Gaza.
The two leaders said the current ceasefire that began Aug. 1 was a “historic step” in bringing peace to the Gaza Strip, which is home to over 1.7 million people.