The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has apologised for warning that Israel risked becoming an “apartheid state” if it did not reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, following a barrage of criticism in America.
In a statement, Kerry hit back at what he described as “partisan political” attacks against him, while stating that in retrospect he would have chosen a different word.
He said that apartheid was “a word best left out of the debate [in the US]” despite the fact that there have been similar warnings from senior Israeli politicians.
Kerry insisted his remarks were only an expression of his firm belief that a two-state solution was the only way to end the long-running conflict.
Kerry’s reported comments, and his retraction, come at a sensitive time for the peace process, suspended by Israel last week after the agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Hamas to reconcile and try to form a unity government. . .