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Psaki: Israeli officials have also warned of an 'apartheid state'

State Department spokeswoman Jen PsakiJen PsakiHillicon Valley: Tech companies duke it out at Senate hearing | Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech Vaccination slowdown could threaten recovery New signs of progress emerge on police reform MORE late Sunday pushed back against a story quoting Secretary John KerryJohn KerryBrazil wants U.S. to pay not to raze Amazon Overnight Energy: Biden will aim to cut US emissions in half by 2030 | Oil and gas leasing pause on public lands will last at least through June The era of climate statecraft is here MORE behind closed doors, warning Israel could turn into an apartheid state.

She tweeted links to two separate articles from last year that quoted top Israeli officials issuing the same warning. Former Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni have made similar comments.

Earlier in the day, The Daily Beast reported the secretary of State told a group of influential world leaders behind closed doors on Friday that Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state.”

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A two-state solution is “the only real alternative,” Kerry reportedly said.

“Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” he added.

The article notes senior U.S. officials rarely use the term in discussions about Israel, and President Obama has said the word shouldn’t apply to the Jewish state.

Kerry was speaking to the Trilateral Commission, a group of senior officials and experts from the U.S., Russia, Japan and Western Europe. He also warned the failure of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could provoke an escalation in violence against Israelis.

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According to a recording The Daily Beast obtained, Kerry told the group he might introduce his own peace deal for the two sides to “take it or leave it.”

Kerry had been working toward the April 29 deadline to help strike a final status agreement.

Israel, however, suspended negotiations last week after Palestinian Liberation Organization President Mahmoud Abbas announced a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, which Israel and the U.S. regard as a terrorist group.