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Australia likely to have supported Israel over settlements: Bishop

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech in his Jerusalem office

"If we were to stand idly by and know that we were allowing a risky dynamic to take hold in a region in which we have vital interests, we would be derelict in our responsibilities".

Many world leaders are watching the incoming Trump administration with great skepticism, wondering how the unconventional president may affect their relations with the US.

"I wish I could be comforted", he said, by Mr Kerry's promise not to seek further United Nations action, but he said the USA had said the same thing about the previous resolution.

On Wednesday, Israel postponed a vote to authorize construction of additional Jewish settlement homes in East Jerusalem to avoid further straining U.S.

He made his comments as the Obama administration and the Israeli government continue to voice differences on how to advance the peace process with the Palestinians.

In the final days of President Barack Obama's administration, and with Israel's government openly hostile to outside pressure, Kerry wants to leave his mark.

"One wonders what is the point of an administration that has had eight years to get it right and has chosen to do absolutely nothing except systematically indulge Israeli aggression and expansionism", Mouin Rabbani, a senior fellow at the Institute of Palestine Studies, a non-profit think tank, told Al Jazeera. He praised the tone of Kerry's speech ("Kerry says Israel puts peace plan in jeopardy", Page A1, December 29), but said Palestinian leadership can not accept the parameters of Kerry's solution. "If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both", Kerry said.

On Friday, in a historic move, the United States failed to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning its ally Israel's building of settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Netanyahu responded to Trump's message, thanking the billionaire businessman for his "warm friendship" and "clear-cut support for Israel". "There was reference to Palestinian incitement to violence and other issues with Palestinian leadership".

In a pre-election interview with The Algemeiner, attorney David Friedman - who has since be chosen by Trump to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel - said, "The critical thing is to recognize that there is not going to be any progress on a Palestinian state until the Palestinians renounce violence and accept Israel as a Jewish state".

Netanyahu said he has "no doubt" the alliance between the US and Israel "will become even stronger in the future".

"They are restricted in their daily movements by a web of checkpoints so if there is only one state you would have millions of Palestinians living in segegated enclaves under a permanent military occupation that deprives them of the most basic freedoms", he said.

About 500,000 Israelis live in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Make no mistake, when Palestinians imagine their own state, they don't imagine a multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy.

That's a long way off, given the haplessness of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas's terrorist stronghold in the Gaza Strip.

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