Israel's Defense Minister Yaalon speaks during a swearing-in ceremony, at the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Israel's defense minister called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace "messianic", a newspaper said on Tuesday, reporting what it described as remarks made behind closed doors.Moshe Yaalon's spokesman declined comment on the account in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's biggest-selling newspaper. Speaking to students in southern Israel on Tuesday, in comments broadcast on Army radio, Yaalon did not refer to the newspaper report directly, but he appeared to try and exercise damage control in ties with Washington.Kerry has been on a diplomatic blitz in recent weeks to persuade Israel and the Palestinians, who resumed statehood talks in July after a three-year deadlock, to agree on an outline proposal addressing the core issues of their conflict.
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