Furious Europe Rips Israel Over New Settlements

UK, France, Sweden summon ambassadors to express displeasure

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 3, 2012 8:17 AM CST

(Newser) – Israel's decision to approve 3,000 new homes on occupied territory is drawing sharp condemnation from European allies, with at least three governments summoning ambassadors to express their disapproval of an action they say undermines an already troubled peace process. Israeli envoys were called out in France, Britain, and Sweden, while Germany said the decision would hurt Israel's ability to negotiate a long-term peace agreement.

France also sent a letter to the Israeli government calling the settlement decision "a considerable obstacle to the two-state solution," because it would dash the hopes of a contiguous Palestinian state.

The E1 project at the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, near east Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
The E1 project at the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, near east Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (Ariel Schalit)
A view of  the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, with E1, background, near Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
A view of the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, with E1, background, near Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (Ariel Schalit)
A Palestinian man works at a new housing development in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, near Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
A Palestinian man works at a new housing development in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, near Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (Ariel Schalit)
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