Israel feels heat from allies over settlements


Associated Press

JERUSALEM

Israel rejected a wave of American and European condemnations Monday over plans to build thousands of new homes in West Bank settlements, vowing to press forward with the construction in the face of widespread international opposition.

The announcement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office was likely to deepen a rift that has emerged between Israel and some of its closest allies after the U.N.’s recognition of a Palestinian state last week. The U.N. decision appears to be fueling a tougher international line against Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Israeli ambassadors were summoned for consultations in five European capitals, and European officials warned of other potential measures against Israel. In Washington, the U.S. said the Israeli actions were “especially damaging” to peace prospects.

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