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Former Israeli Premier Olmert backs U.S. Senator Schumer's call to replace Netanyahu

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published March 19,2024

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday sent a letter of support to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over his call for early elections in Israel, citing mismanagement by the country's incumbent Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

Acknowledging Schumer as "a great friend of the state of Israel," Olmert thanked him for his "courage" in voicing "what so Jews across the world and traditional supporters of Israel feel today."

In his letter, Olmert said Netanyahu was "not worthy of the responsibilities bestowed upon him."

On March 14, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Netanyahu's leadership and called on Israel to hold new elections.

In his speech, Schumer referred to the surprise cross-border attack on Oct. 7 led by Palestinian group Hamas in which some 1,200 people were killed. Israel responded with a deadly military campaign in Gaza that has left more than 31,000 Palestinians dead, much of the coastal enclave in rubble and most of its 2 million population displaced.

For his part, Netanyahu on Sunday called Schumer's comments "totally inappropriate," and said he would not bow to international pressure to halt the war in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli war has also pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide, and guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.