2014-07-28T221708Z_2_LYNXMPEA6R0PH_RTROPTP_2_USA-INDIA-KERRY

U.S. officials defend Kerry from Israeli criticism

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks at the Center for American Progress on the launch of India:2020 in WashingtonBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Obama administration officials rallied to the defense of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday after withering criticism in Israel of Kerry’s failed attempt to secure a ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians. The critiques of Kerry centered around ideas that U.S. officials say were sent to Israeli officials, based on an Egyptian draft ceasefire proposal, that would provide for an immediate end to hostilities and talks 48 hours later between Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian officials in Cairo. The confidential draft was leaked to the Israeli news media, which interpreted the proposal as akin to a U.S. effort to get Israel to halt a military campaign aimed at destroying Hamas tunnels in Gaza that militants have used to launch attacks against Israeli soldiers.

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