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28 Dec, 2016 18:22

Netanyahu: Kerry's speech 'biased' against Israel, obsessive about settlements (VIDEO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced a speech by US State Secretary John Kerry as "biased" and added that the US top diplomat completely ignored the deep roots of the conflict.

Kerry dealt "obsessively" with the issue of the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, Netanyahu said in a statement, calling his speech anti-Israeli.

"Like the Security Council resolution that Secretary Kerry advanced in the UN, his speech tonight was skewed against Israel," the statement reads, as cited by Reuters.

He went on to say that Kerry almost completely ignored the root of the conflict that, according to the Israeli PM, consisted in the Palestinian opposition to the very existence of the Jewish state within any borders.

Speaking at a press conference, Netanyahu said he was committed to peace, but suggested that Palestinians were not “educated” for a peaceful resolution.

“The Palestinian authority educates them to lionize terrorists and to murder Israelis.

“How can you make peace with someone who rejects your very existence?” Netanyahu asked in his comments, which were televised. “This conflict has always been about Israel’s very right to exist.”

Referring to the recent UN Security Council resolution regarding Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, Netanyahu said that Israel had it on “absolutely incontestable evidence” that the US “organized, advanced and brought this resolution.”

In his speech earlier Wednesday, Kerry said that the “two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

He also defended the Obama administration’s record regarding Israel, saying: “No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s… More than half of our entire global foreign military financing goes to Israel.”

READ MORE: Netanyahu likely to be investigated for bribery, fraud following ‘secret probe’ discovery – report

“If Israel goes down the one-state path, it will never have true peace with the rest of the Arab world,” Kerry added.

“We have to be clear about what is happening in the West Bank. The Israeli prime minister publicly supports a two-state solution but his current coalition is the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements,” Secretary Kerry said.

"If more and more [Israeli] settlers are moving into Palestinian areas it is going to be just that much harder to separate, that much harder to imagine transferring sovereignty – and that is exactly the outcome that some are purposefully accelerating.

“Let’s be clear, settlement expansion has nothing to do with Israel’s security. Many settlements actually increase the security burden on the Israeli defense forces,” he added.

The war of words follows the ratcheting up of tensions between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama’s administration. The US has refused to veto a UN resolution that urged Israel to stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

It was the first resolution passed by the UN Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in almost eight years.

Netanyahu labeled the US's refusal to veto the resolution "shameful" and "underhanded."

On Tuesday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that it would be reducing its working relationships with 12 of the UN Security Council countries that voted to pass the resolution.

In a series of online messages, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, accused the Obama administration of acting against the Israeli government.

“To coordinate anti-Israeli initiatives with the Palestinians and to advance one-sided resolutions is the opposite of supporting Israel,” Danon said. “Neither speeches nor statements will bring peace to our region.”

Before Kerry’s speech, President-elect Donald Trump sent a series of tweets urging Israel to “stay strong” and saying, “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.”