Justice Minister Tzipi Livni blasted on Thursday Israeli "hypocrites" whose actions could threaten to derail the ongoing peace process with the Palestinians, Israel Radio cited her as saying at a conference at Bar-Ilan University.

There are critics in the government who claim to support peace, but in actuality use the argument of security as a cover for ideological opposition to a peace agreement, the chief Israeli negotiator said.

Following the approval on Wednesday of construction permits for more than 550 new housing units over the Green Line, Livni charged opponents of the peace process of voicing false support for the talks while continuing controversial building "to the point of no return".

Livni also defended US Secretary of State John Kerry in light of recent Israeli criticism over remarks he made about the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process.

Firing back at critics, Livni lauded Kerry as the first foreign diplomat to defend Israeli interests in the international arena.


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