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Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 10:18 AM IST

Kerry calls new settlements an obstacle to peace

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Says if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both

Washington : In an unusual move, US Secretary of State John Kerry has criticised Israel’s decision to build new settlements in Palestine, saying the Jewish state is currently ruled by “the most right-wing” government in its history which believes in one state solution, prompting an angry reaction from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  In his hour-long major policy speech, which raised many eyebrows in both Israel and in the incoming Trump administration, Kerry said the US supports a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine conflict and believes it is the only way to achieve a “just and lasting” peace in the region.

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“This is an issue which all of you know I have worked on intensively during my time as Secretary of State, for one simple reason, because the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors,” Kerry said on Wednesday.

 “It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people, and it is an important way of advancing US interests in the region,” Kerry said. He said the US’ decision to abstain from an anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution helped preserve the two-state solution. “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace,” Kerry said. He said though Netanyahu says he believes in the two-state solution, the government he leads is “the most right-wing in Israel’s history.” “The settler agenda is defining the future of Israel. And their stated purpose is clear: They believe in one state,” Kerry said.

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Published on: Friday, December 30, 2016, 08:18 AM IST
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