The US State Department has described remarks said to have been made by Israel's defence minister about John Kerry as "offensive and inappropriate".
Moshe Yaalon reportedly denounced Secretary of State John Kerry's quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace as "messianic" and "obsessive".
"The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that if accurate, Mr Yaalon's remarks were "offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel's security needs".
The defence minister, who stopped short of denying he had made the attack on Kerry, later described the US as an ally of utmost importance.