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Netanyahu deems Schumer's call for new Israeli elections inappropriate

The news comes as stalled cease-fire talks are expected to resume between Israel and Hamas as the Gaza Strip faces a humanitarian crisis.
Netanyahu deems Schumer's call for new Israeli election inappropriate
Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 17, 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is firing back at calls to hold new elections in the country after months of war have unleashed devastation in the Gaza Strip. 

Thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, calling for a deal to release hostages held by Hamas and pushing for new elections in the country. 

“We need to accept a peace treaty, we need to have return of the hostages, and we need to establish a governing authority that can be relied upon in Gaza so that we can resume peaceful relations between us and Gaza and between all the states around here. What we really want is peace,” said protester Yehuda Halper.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed those calls on Israel to hold a new election, saying Netanyahu had “lost his way.” 

Netanyahu snapped back against Schumer’s comments on CNN's State of the Union, saying his comments were "totally inappropriate."

“It's inappropriate for him to go to a sister democracy and try to replace the elected leadership there. That's something that Israel, the Israeli public does on its own, but we're not a banana republic," said Netanyahu. “This is a wakeup call to Senator Schumer; the majority of Israelis support the policies of my government. It's not a fringe government. It represents the policies supported by the majority of the people. If Senator Schumer opposes these policies, he's not opposing me. He's opposing the people of Israel."

The news comes as stalled cease-fire talks are expected to resume between Israel and Hamas as the Gaza Strip faces a humanitarian crisis. 

Critics, including the U.S., have warned Israel of invading the city of Rafah, the last location Israel says it has left to eliminate Hamas. 

An estimated 1.4 million people are living in Rafah, many of whom have sought refuge there. 

“The fear immediately is a humanitarian disaster on an even bigger scale than we have witnessed so far,” said Shibley Telhami, Peace and Development Professor at the University of Maryland.

Netanyahu has called Hamas’ latest demands “absurd” but says he is open to negotiating. 

“We cannot have a future for Gaza, a future for peace. A future for Israel. If Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to our genocide, remains intact,” said Netanyahu.

U.S. Central Command delivered another airdrop of humanitarian aid into Gaza on Sunday, where the Hamas-run health ministry says nearly 100 people have been killed in the last 24 hours, and the death toll has now surpassed 31,000, with a growing number of children dying of starvation. 

SEE MORE: Cease-fire talks with Israel and Hamas expected to resume on Sunday

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