Binyamin Netanyahu has met with the US secretary of state, John Kerry, in Berlin amid a continuing storm of criticism over remarks by the Israeli prime minister claiming that the Palestinian grand mufti of Jerusalem had suggested the genocide of the Jews to Adolf Hitler.

Although Netanyahu tried to row back on his remarks that Hitler had been persuaded to initiate the Holocaust by the second world war Palestinian leader – made in a speech on Tuesday to the World Zionist Congress – historians and media commentators continued to weigh in accusing him of everything from fabrication to helping the cause of Holocaust deniers.

The continuing row came as Kerry and Netanyahu called for an immediate end to incitement, blamed for a recent deadly wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis, ahead of their meeting on Thursday.

Netanyahu also repeated earlier accusations that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, was “spreading lies” about the status of the Temple Mount, the holy site at the centre of tensions.

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