Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

FOCUS

The battle for UK Labour’s leadership

Read more

Middle east

France, UK 'consider' recalling ambassadors to Israel

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-03

Britain is weighing recalling its ambassador to Israel in protest against a decision to expand settlement building, a diplomatic source said on Monday, while an Israeli newspaper reported that France is also considering withdrawing its envoy.

Britain is considering recalling its ambassador to Israel to protest at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to expand settlement building, a diplomatic source said on Monday.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that France was also considering withdrawing its envoy.

Both embassies declined to comment on the reports, but the British issued a statement saying they had made clear they would not support strong Israeli retaliation to a U.N. vote last week that gave the Palestinians de facto recognition of statehood.

“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,” the British embassy in Tel Aviv said.

“We have called on the Israeli government to reconsider.”

A diplomatic source, who declined to be named, said London would decide later in the day whether to recall its ambassador.

Such a move by both London and Paris would represent a severe diplomatic reproach to Netanyahu. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Israeli Army Radio he was not aware of any recall.

“I did not hear of this, either via the foreign ministry or the prime minister’s office. Therefore I have a hard time believing it is true,” he said.

Netanyahu has brushed off world condemnation of his latest settlement plans, which were announced on Friday just hours after the United Nations voted overwhelming to upgrade the Palestinians’ diplomatic status.

“We will carry on building in Jerusalem and in all the places that are on the map of Israel’s strategic interests,” Netanyahu said on Sunday at a weekly cabinet meeting.

Besides authorising 3,000 new homes in and around Jerusalem, the Israeli government also agreed to expedite planning work for thousands more homes on barren land near Jerusalem that critics say would kill off Palestinian hopes of creating a viable state.

In another blow to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Israel announced on Sunday it was withholding Palestinian tax revenues this month worth about $100 million.

Israel said it was taking the money to help cover a Palestinian debt of $200 million with the Israeli Electric Corporation.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2012-12-03

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Abbas returns home after historic UN vote

    Read more

  • ISRAEL - PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Israel announces new settlements after UN Palestine vote

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    France to support Palestinian UN status bid

    Read more

COMMENT(S)