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Israeli deputy minister: Kerry legitimizes terrorism

(JTA) — An Israeli deputy minister has accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of giving “legitimacy to terror” and misunderstanding Middle East politics.

“John Kerry, who warns us of an intifada, does not understand the Middle East, and he is not worthy to be a mediator when he goes back to his country. His words give legitimacy to this terrorism,” Eli Ben-Dahan, deputy religious services minister, was quoted as saying Thursday by Israel’s Channel 2 news.

Ben-Dahan reportedly made the comments at the consecration of a new synagogue in the West Bank settlement of Etz Efraim. His remarks followed a suspected terror attack in Jerusalem on Thursday evening in which a 2-year-old girl was wounded when her family’s vehicle was pelted with stones.

Ben-Dahan, a member of the Jewish Home party, said that the synagogue “strengthens our hold on the country, and from here we reiterate: There will not be a Palestinian state.”

Earlier this month, Kerry warned that a failure to come to a diplomatic accord with the Palestinians based on the two-state solution could lead to a third intifada.

“The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” Kerry said in a Channel 2 interview. “Does Israel want a third intifada?”

Kerry, who will leave next Tuesday for Brussels and Moldova, will then fly to Israel for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, The Jerusalem Post reported.

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