WASHINGTON (AP) -- Obama administration officials were fuming Monday over Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
In unusually harsh language, officials said the criticism of Kerry could put the relationship between the U.S. and Israel in jeopardy. They also said the personal attacks on Kerry cross a line and are particularly disappointing at a time of active conflict.
Israeli media commentators have leveled almost nonstop criticism at Kerry in recent days over his attempts to bring Qatar and Turkey into the cease-fire negotiations. Both countries are viewed by Israel as strong Hamas supporters.
The U.S. officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter on the record by name. White House national security adviser Susan Rice is expected to address the situation in the Middle East later Monday.
Kerry spent several days in the region last week in a failed bid to win agreement on an immediate weeklong truce during which talks on a new Gaza border deal would begin.