By Jordan Fabian - 12-28-16 13:38 PM EST
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday blasted Secretary of State John Kerry's speech on the Israel-Palestine conflict as a "great disappointment" that undermined the Jewish state.
In a speech from Jerusalem, Netanyahu criticized Kerry for spending more time criticizing Israeli settlement activity than condemning Palestinian acts of terror.
He said the remarks were "almost as unbalanced" as a U.N. Security Council resolution ratified last week that denounced the settlements.
"Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders," Netanyahu said.
The Israeli leader said the conflict with the Palestinians "has always been about Israel's very right to exist."
"I can only express my regret and say that it's a shame that Secretary Kerry does not see this simple truth," he added.
The majority of the prime minister's remarks were delivered in English - and not Hebrew - a sign they were primarily directed at an American audience.
Netanyahu's comments came after Kerry ratcheted up criticism of his government, including its commitment to settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The U.S. angered its biggest Mideast last week ally by allowing the U.N. to pass a resolution condemning the activity as illegal.
With the U.S. abstaining from the resolution, it passed by a vote of 14-0.
"Secretary Kerry said the U.S. cannot vote against its own policy, but that's exactly what it did at the U.N.," said Netanyahu.
Kerry said the trend toward increased settlement building under Netanyahu is alarming, gradually eroding the possibility of brokering a two-state solution.
"If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic," he said. "It cannot be both, and it won't ever really be at peace."
Netanyahu said his country "looks forward to working with President-elect Trump" and lawmakers from both parties "to mitigate the damage this resolution has done, and ultimately, to repeal it."
He also called on the Obama administration to prevent future action against Israel at the U.N. "in its waning days."
- Updated at 2:30 p.m.