WASHINGTON -- US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed "disappointment" over remarks made by the lead Palestinian negotiator to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday night in Paris during a meeting intended to discuss a framework for negotiations on the Middle East peace process.
Last week, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Xinhua, a state-run news organization in China, that Israel may initiate a new military incursion in Gaza against Hamas to undermine US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to forge peace.
Erekat had previously suggested that Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu wanted Abbas assassinated.
Israeli officials have denied and condemned the comments, and the State Department on Wednesday expressed "concern over the recent comments."
"Personal attacks are unhelpful," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, responding to Erekat's comments to the Chinese media outlet. "The secretary will make clear that these comments are disappointing."