Israel claims U.S. behind Europe move to condemn the settlements

The United States was behind Europe’s condemnation of Israel for approving thousands of housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank, an Israeli official said.

“The European move is essentially an American move. The Brits asked the Americans how to act,” an unnamed Israeli official with close ties to the U.S. administration told Ynetnews.com.

Despite mounting international pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying Jerusalem would “continue to stand up for its vital interests even in the face of international pressure.”

Israel’s ambassador in Australia was summoned Tuesday in protest the Israeli decision to expand settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority, The Jerusalem Post said. In Europe, countries such as Britain, France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark took similar action.

On Monday, Israel said the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee intends to discuss next week a plan to build an additional 1,600 housing units in the city’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. The construction in the neighborhood was approved in March 2010 during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Haaretz noted.

Hours after the U.N. General Assembly voted last week to upgrade the U.N. status of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip to the same rank as the Vatican headquarters, Israel announced plans for 3,000 new housing units in contested areas east of Jerusalem and around the West Bank.

Israel captured the territories recognized by the General Assembly in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

“There should be no surprise that Israel will not stand idly by in the face of unilateral Palestinian steps,” an unidentified official in Netanyahu’s office told British newspaper The Guardian. “If they continue taking unilateral steps, Israel will act accordingly.”

The harsh international response to Israel’s announcement was described by one Israeli official as the worst diplomatic crisis faced by Israel in 20 years, The Jerusalem Post said.

The British Foreign Office said it conveyed “the depth of the U.K.’s concern” about Israel’s decision to build housing along a 4-mile stretch between Jerusalem and the large settlement city of Maale Adumim, the site of the biblical “Good Samaritan” parable.

It said London deplored the settlement plans as threatening “the viability of a two-state solution” and called on Jerusalem to reverse the decision.

A two-state solution refers to the envisioned establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The French Foreign Ministry said, “Settlement activity is illegal under international law, hurts the confidence necessary for a reviving dialogue and constitutes an obstacle to a just peace based on a two-state solution.”

French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti issued a joint statement saying they were “deeply worried” by Israel’s settlement plans. The two men, meeting in Lyon, France, called the Israeli decisions “serious and illegal” and a “serious obstacle” to Mideast peace.

Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath praised the European leaders for taking action.

“For this to come from France and England is very beneficial to us. We highly appreciate it and we are hoping the U.S. will follow their lead,” he said.

Washington didn’t summon the Israeli ambassador but the U.S. State Department and the White House harshly criticized Israel over the planned construction.

“The United States opposes all unilateral actions, including West Bank settlement activity and housing construction in East Jerusalem, as they complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations, and risk prejudging the outcome of those negotiations,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

This includes building in the E-1 area as this area is particularly sensitive and construction there would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution, he said.

“We have made clear to the Israeli government that such action is contrary to U.S. policy,” Toner said. “The United States and the international community expect all parties to play a constructive role in efforts to achieve peace. ‪We urge the parties to cease unilateral actions and take concrete steps to return to direct negotiations so all the issues can be discussed and the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security can be realized.”

UPI

  • Patience2

    The USA is controlled by Israel … this statement is just more disinformation from the Jewish BS’ers.

    • MekensehParty

      Right, 300 million Americans are moved by remote controle from Tel Aviv
      typical lebanese thinking

  • Patience2

    The USA is controlled by Israel … this statement is just more disinformation from the Jewish BS’ers.

    • MekensehParty

      Right, 300 million Americans are moved by remote controle from Tel Aviv
      typical lebanese thinking

  • libnan1

     How about sanctions instead of condemnations.

    • http://twitter.com/akparawa Kanaden Eyen Abasi

      Any sanction, the Palestinians will suffer more

    • nagy_michael2

      we should sanctions Aoun and his lover Nassrallah for all the damages they have done to Lebanese populations..

      • libnan1

         Ya nagi, who are you to sanction Aoun the ultimate dictator. You sound like you haven’t had any Colombian action lately !!!! I guess the girl are sick and tired of you giving them appetizers (shrimp) instead of the a main course of big pepperoni  …:)

        • nagy_michael2

          ya libnan1 we have Brazilian Hot spa is full of columbians and espaniol.. never get tired of me.. unlike Aoun who is always uptight and he comes out of Nassrallah whole looking like Raccoooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.. just look into his eyes and you know what am i talking about.

  • libnan1

     How about sanctions instead of condemnations.

    • http://twitter.com/akparawa Kanaden Eyen Abasi

      Any sanction, the Palestinians will suffer more

    • nagy_michael2

      we should sanctions Aoun and his lover Nassrallah for all the damages they have done to Lebanese populations..

      • libnan1

         Ya nagi, who are you to sanction Aoun the ultimate dictator. You sound like you haven’t had any Colombian action lately !!!! I guess the girl are sick and tired of you giving them appetizers (shrimp) instead of the a main course of big pepperoni  …:)

        • nagy_michael2

          ya libnan1 we have Brazilian Hot spa is full of columbians and espaniol.. never get tired of me.. unlike Aoun who is always uptight and he comes out of Nassrallah whole looking like Raccoooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.. just look into his eyes and you know what am i talking about.

  • Fauzia45

    It is about time that Israel starts to respect international law!!

    • http://twitter.com/akparawa Kanaden Eyen Abasi

      the Arabs should discard the winner takes all syndrome. Why haven’t the Arabs ask why Israel has been behaving this way since peace negotiations started more than 20years ago. We do not expect Israel to make peace with the Palestinians only for the other middle eastern countries to still consider her an Outcast in the region and not fit for partnership. Unless the Arab world comes to terms that peace with the Palestinians will be an all encompassing one that includes all Arab countries signing to it, then the issue of peace is for now an illusion.

      • dateam

        for that to happen the minimum israel must do is acknowledge that the palestinians exist

  • Fauzia45

    It is about time that Israel starts to respect international law!!

    • http://twitter.com/akparawa Kanaden Eyen Abasi

      the Arabs should discard the winner takes all syndrome. Why haven’t the Arabs ask why Israel has been behaving this way since peace negotiations started more than 20years ago. We do not expect Israel to make peace with the Palestinians only for the other middle eastern countries to still consider her an Outcast in the region and not fit for partnership. Unless the Arab world comes to terms that peace with the Palestinians will be an all encompassing one that includes all Arab countries signing to it, then the issue of peace is for now an illusion.

      • dateam

        for that to happen the minimum israel must do is acknowledge that the palestinians exist

  • 5thDrawer

    With Global warming, more of Greenland is opening up .. Could create something there if we had any good ‘planners’ anywhere … two new states named Israel and Palestine … without much protesting from the resident 30 people … the fishing is good and not so polluted as in the Med – yet; and grass will grow eventually as the planet warms to dinosaur-age temperatures.
    Hmmm .. and considering those temps rising … who wants to fry in the Levant anyway, but a bunch of fried brains?
    North-to-south division of Greenland, of course, so expansion can occur naturally as the ice-sheet receeds.

  • 5thDrawer

    With Global warming, more of Greenland is opening up .. Could create something there if we had any good ‘planners’ anywhere … two new states named Israel and Palestine … without much protesting from the resident 30 people … the fishing is good and not so polluted as in the Med – yet, and grass will grow eventually as the planet warms to dinosaur-age temperatures.
    Hmmm .. and considering those temps rising … who wants to fry in the Levant anyway, but a bunch of fried brains?

  • Btru2u

    If America intiated the condemnation of israel towards settlements in defiance of the international community . If this is true, then this is the start of a new posture towards Israel. I hope the world as woken up from its shame, and will finally man up to the terrorist apartheid state.

  • Btru2u

    If America intiated the condemnation of israel towards settlements in defiance of the international community . If this is true, then this is the start of a new posture towards Israel. I hope the world as woken up from its shame, and will finally man up to the terrorist apartheid state.

  • Fauzia45

    There will be no peace if there is no justice!!The only way for peace to reign  is to protect people from fear ,protect their liberties give them their rights,their right to live in their state! Then you will be protected! This way there will be peace !!Building more settlements is a threat to peace!!I

    • 5thDrawer

      As is blowing up buses by invading ‘forces’, or firing off rockets willy-nilly. 2 sides need to keep their word.

  • Fauzia45

    There will be no peace if there is no justice!!The only way for peace to reign  is to protect people from fear ,protect their liberties give them their rights,their right to live in their state! Then you will be protected! This way there will be peace !!Building more settlements is a threat to peace!!I

    • 5thDrawer

      As is blowing up buses by invading ‘forces’, or firing off rockets willy-nilly. 2 sides need to keep their word.