Europe rises in chorus against Israel settlements

December 04, 2012 - 6:32:10 am

JERUSALEM: Israel faced concerted criticism from Europe yesterday over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to expand settlement building after the United Nations’ de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Britain, France and Sweden summoned the Israeli ambassadors in their respective capitals to hear deep disapproval of the plan to erect 3,000 more homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Ahead of a Netanyahu visit this week, Germany, considered Israel’s closest ally in Europe, urged it to refrain from expanding settlements, and Russia said it viewed the Israeli moves with serious concern. Israel has been angered by by the UN General Assembly’s upgrading of the Palestinians’ status. REUTERS