JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli newspaper quoted the defense minister Tuesday as deriding U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Mideast peace efforts as naive and foolhardy, triggering an angry response from Washington and rekindling simmering tensions with Israel’s closest and most important ally.
The quotes appeared ahead of another visit by Kerry, who is expected in the region in the coming weeks to deliver his ideas on a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry has already submitted to Israel a series of proposals for ensuring Israel’s security as part of a future peace deal.
In the comments published by the Yediot Ahronot daily, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” and dismissed Kerry’s security plan as worthless.
“The only thing that might save us is if John Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us be,” Yaalon was quoted as saying.
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