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John Kerry

New settlement spat emerges as Kerry visits Israel

A new spat emerged between the Israeli government and Washington over Jewish settlements on Tuesday, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel and the West Bank for the first time in more than a year.

As Kerry set aside his goal of a long-sought peace accord to make way for more modest hopes of an end to two months of deadly violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the recognition of some existing settlement blocs in exchange for steps to ease tensions with the Palestinians.

In Washington, the State Department quickly rejected any suggestion the U.S. would alter its longstanding opposition to settlements or recognize them as legitimate...