Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has summoned the ambassadors of the UK, France, Italy and Spain to express his frustration towards their stance against - illegal Jewish settlement construction projects in the occupied West Bank.
"The EU calls our ambassadors in because of the construction of a few houses? When did the EU call in the Palestinian ambassadors about incitement that calls for Israel's destruction?" Netanyahu told a press conference on Thursday in response to the EU representative Catherine Ashton, who said the settlements were an obstacle to peace.
Although considered to be illegal according to international law, up to 500,000 Jewish settlers live in around 100 settlements in occupied territories in the West Bank. Despite the restarting of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel last week announced the construction of 1,400 new homes. This behavior on behalf of the Israelis threatens to derail the peace process.
The Palestinians have been calling on Israel to retreat back to its 1967 borders. Last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman caused outrage when he offered to trade Arab towns in Israel for recognition of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.