Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticised the European Union's opposition to Israel building or expanding settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. He is said to be "angry" that his ambassadors were summoned to see the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Italy and Spain to hear about concerns over the decision to build 1,400 new housing units in illegal settlements.
Netanyahu told Israel Radio that the European position lacks balance which threatens peace efforts in the Middle East. "When did the European countries summon representatives of the Palestinian Authority to warn them of the dangers underlying the Palestinian incitements which call to eliminate Israel?" he asked.
According to Haaretz newspaper, "Major European Union countries decided to summon the Israeli ambassadors to protest against the government's decision." Meanwhile, it added, Germany's foreign minister visited Tel Aviv last week to protest formally about building new settlement unit.
A Western diplomat is reported to having said that the ambassadors were informed of the seriousness of the Israeli decision which would hinder international attempts to create a positive atmosphere for peace negotiations.
Source: Al Sharq