WASHINGTON—Secretary of State John Kerry sharply criticized Israel’s continued construction on contested Palestinian territory and didn’t rule out administration support for action at the United Nations on the Arab-Israeli conflict before President-elect Donald Trump takes power.
Mr. Kerry, speaking at a Middle East forum in Washington, said Sunday that the Obama administration hasn’t made any decisions about actions at the United Nations Security Council, but that other countries are likely to introduce resolutions as they lose patience with the current situation, which Mr. Kerry said was “getting worse.”
“There’s been no decision made about any kind of step that may or may not be taken in that regard,” Mr. Kerry said, when asked if the U.S. would lay down new parameters for the conflict, possibly at the United Nations Security Council. “There are, however, other people out there, who because of this building frustration… [are] talking about bringing resolutions to the United Nations. If it’s a biased and unfair resolution calculated to delegitimize Israel, we’ll oppose it.”
‘If it’s a biased and unfair resolution calculated to delegitimize Israel, we’ll oppose it.’
—Secretary of State John Kerry, on a potential action at the United Nations Security Council
Mr. Kerry said Israel was “heading to a place of danger” as settlement building has narrowed the prospects for peace and a two-state solution. At the same forum earlier Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told attendees via satellite link that settlements weren’t an obstacle to peace. Mr. Kerry pushed back, saying, “Let’s not kid ourselves here.”
“I’m not here to say that settlements are the reason for the conflict.” he said. “But I also cannot accept the notion that they’re not a barrier to peace.”
The White House had earlier this year been exploring options to revive a Middle East peace push.