Deteriorating relationship after Netanyahu-Kerry phone call 'mysteriously cut off’

Published August 6th, 2014 - 07:30 GMT

How badly have US-Israel relations deteriorated in recent weeks? If Israeli media reports are any indication, tensions boiled over to the point where a phone call between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ended due to "communications problems" earlier this week. Both men have not spoken since, according to the State Department. 

Kerry's spokesperson, Jen Psaki, told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that the two men have not spoken since a brief phone call over the situation in Gaza ended because of "communications problems."

Psaki said that Kerry has held discussions over the course of the last day with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and UN official Robert Serry.

Netanyahu's relations with the Obama administration have historically been rocky, but the disagreements over how to approach the Palestinian issue came into sharper focus during the recent Gaza crisis.

Last week, Netanyahu reportedly reprimanded the US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, admonishing Washington "not to second-guess him again" over policy toward Hamas.

When asked about the quote during a news conference in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, the premier went out of his way to praise the Obama administration for its condemnation of Hamas' violation of the cease-fire last week as well as Washington's funding of the Iron Dome project.

Nonetheless, the administration has also used strong language to condemn Israeli shelling of UN-run schools in Gaza.

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