JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
The Jewish settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, 02 December 2012, with some shacks lived in by the Jahalin Bedouins on a nearby hilltop. EPA Photo
Israel will not give in to international pressure to halt plans to build new settler homes in a highly controversial area of the West Bank near Jerusalem, a source in the Israeli premier's office said on Monday.
"Israel continues to insist on its vital interests, even under international pressure. There will be no change in the decision that has been made," said the source, referring to a decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
to allow 3,000 new settler homes to be built in annexed east Jerusalem and the West Bank.Britain and France summon Israeli envoys over settlements: official
The British government summoned the Israeli ambassador to London for talks on Monday over Tel Aviv's new settlement plans, officials said, after warning of a "strong reaction" to the proposals.
"The Israeli Ambassador to London, Daniel Taub, has been summoned to the Foreign Office this morning for a meeting with the minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, to discuss this further," a Foreign Office statement said.France summons Israel ambassador over settler plan: embassy
France on Monday summoned the Israeli ambassador here to complain about the Jewish state's plans to build new settler homes, the embassy said.
Reports of a decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
to build 3,000 homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank emerged Friday when an official source confirmed that it was in retaliation for the Palestinians winning the rank of a UN non-member state a day earlier.Britain warning over Israeli settlement expansion
The British Foreign Office said on Monday it was considering a "strong reaction" to Israel's plans to build new settler homes, amid speculation it could recall its ambassador to Israel.
A diplomatic source said media reports about its ambassador were speculation and no decision has been taken, but it is thought to be an option.
"The Foreign Secretary (William Hague) has consistently made it very clear that settlement building, such as the recent Israeli government decision to build 3,000 new housing units, threatens the two-state solution and makes progress through negotiations harder to achieve," a Foreign Office spokesman said.
"We have called on the Israeli government to reconsider. We have told the Israeli government that if they go ahead with their decision, then there will be a strong reaction." Reports of a decision by Israel
to build the homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank emerged Friday, with an official source confirming it was in retaliation for the Palestinians winning the rank of a UN non-member state a day earlier.