WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 28: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech on Middle East peace at The U.S. Department of State on December 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kerry spoke on the need for a two-state solution and defended the Obama administration's approach to Israel. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Kerry condemns Israeli settlements, Trump defends

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The US secretary of state, John Kerry on Wednesday had delivered a farewell speech to outline his “peace vision” between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, where he said that the ongoing Israeli settlement expansion threatens the two-state solution.

“The settler agenda is defining the future in Israel. And their stated purpose is clear: They believe in one state: Greater Israel,” Kerry said. “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,” he added.

Kerry said that a two-state solution was the only way to achieve lasting peace.

“Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, who does not support a two-state solution, said after the vote last week, quote, “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share, and veto this resolution.” I am compelled to respond today that the United States did, in fact, vote in accordance with our values, just as previous U.S. administrations have done at the Security Council before us,” Kerry said.

The speech comes days after the US abstained from voting in favor of the United Nations security council resolution 2334, which condemnded Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem a violation of international law

Shortly before Kerry’s speech, the GOP US President-elect, Donald Trump had come against the stance of the Obama administration regarding settlements on twitter:

“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S. but not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” referring to when he takes over the White House from Democratic President Barack Obama.

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