Obama administration warns Netanyahu over 'inflammatory rhetoric' against Palestinians

US President Barack Obama (right) looking at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he speaks during their meeting at the White House in Washington, October 1, 2014. (AP photo)

The administration of US President Barack Obama has warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop "inflammatory rhetoric" against Palestinians after he claimed a Palestinian Muslim leader provoked the Holocaust.

In a controversial speech on Tuesday, Netanyahu said the grand mufti of Jerusalem (al-Quds) during the 1940s, Haj Amin al-Husseini, convinced German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to annihilate the Jews.

Responding sharply to the provocative claim on Thursday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, "I don't think there's any doubt here at the White House who is responsible for the Holocaust that killed six million Jews [sic]."

"We here continue to stress publicly and privately ... the importance of preventing inflammatory rhetoric, accusations or actions on both sides (that) can feed the violence," Schultz said. "We believe that inflammatory rhetoric needs to stop."

Despite attempting to back track on the inaccurate assertions, Netanyahu has been widely condemned.

Palestinian leaders and the Israeli opposition groups have accused him of distorting the past, while historians called them inaccurate.

Historians discredited Netanyahu's historical distortions, saying that the meeting between Hitler and the Palestinian mufti came when Nazi Germany had already planned to systematically exterminate the Jewish population in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Netanyahu's commentary came during a time of heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.

A recent surge in tensions triggered by Israeli raids on the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds, as well as increasing violence by illegal Israeli settlers, has seen about 54 Palestinians killed and hundreds injured since October 1.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met Netanyahu in Germany, calling for an immediate end to "all incitement" and "violence" against the Palestinians.

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