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Trump’s message: Stay strong Israel, January 20 fast approaching

WASHINGTON: As the US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said Israel’s building of settlements on occupied land was jeopardising Middle East peace, voicing unusually frank frustration with America’s longtime ally weeks before leaving the office, Donald Trump said Israel could not be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.

In his reactionary tweets the US President-elect Donald Trump said:

In a 70-minute speech on Wednesday, 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.

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 Trump, who has vowed to pursue more pro-Israeli policies.

Kerry’s remarks and Netanyahu’s reply marked the closing chapter of a bitter US-Israeli relationship during President Barack Obama’s administration over differences on settlement-building and the Iran nuclear deal signed last year.

Ties reached a low point last Friday when Washington cleared the way for a UN resolution that demanded an end to Israeli settlement building, prompting Israeli government officials to direct harsh attacks against Obama and Kerry.

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