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Israel: Defence minister says sorry over Kerry comments amid US friction

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Israel: Defence minister says sorry over Kerry comments amid US friction

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Israel’s defence minister has said sorry after remarks he allegedly made about John Kerry sparked diplomatic friction with the United States.

Moshe Yaalon’s apology followed a rebuke from the US, incensed over the comments in the Israeli press.

He reportedly called the US secretary of state’s
quest for Middle East peace obsessive and “messianic”, that he “cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians” and “the only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone”.

Washington was outraged.

“If these comments are accurate, we find the remarks of the defence minister to be offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States has done to support Israel’s security needs and will continue to do,” said US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki.

In parliament, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to take Yaalon to task, extolling Israel’s shared interests with what he called “our great ally” in Washington.

Kerry has been on a diplomatic blitz, pushing peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.But so far there have been few signs of progress.