In an explosive remark, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared women with animals after he said, "Women aren't animals you can beat, and today, we say you don't hit animals either. Well, women are animals, children are animals – with rights."
The Israeli prime minister was addressing a conference at the Knesset (Israel's legislative body) marking 'International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women'.
PM Netanyahu's comments came in presence of his wife Sara and the representatives of women's groups.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office later clarified that his comments were taken out of context and that the PM has just given an example of animal abuse without any intention to compare the two.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu, who spoke from the bottom of his heart today about women's rights and against any violation of them, only gave an example of abuse in a small part of his speech when he also spoke about harm to animals, but in no way intended to compare them," the Israeli PMO said in a statement.
The Prime Minister's address on stopping violence against women came at a time when there is a massive spike in the number of cases against women in Israel. The country had witnessed a surge in domestic violence, especially during the pandemic.
According to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, the number of domestic violence complaints has tripled since the pandemic began in March.