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In parting shot at Israel, Kerry warns Middle East peace in jeopardy

by Lesley Wroughton and Yeganeh Torbati | Reuters  |  Published on December 29, 2016

KerryU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said Israel’s building of settlements on occupied land was jeopardizing Middle East peace, voicing unusually frank frustration with America’s longtime ally weeks before he is due to leave office.

In a swiftly issued statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Kerry of bias. He said Israel did not need to be lectured to by foreign leaders and looked forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed to pursue more pro-Israeli policies.

In a 70-minute speech, Kerry said Israel “will never have true peace” with the Arab world if it does not reach an accord based on Israelis and Palestinians living in their own states.

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