Has Israel's settlement expansion crossed a 'red line'? (+video)(Read article summary)
Both Britain and France have summoned Israel's ambassadors to protest plans to expand construction in East Jerusalem, while some say more serious action like economic reprisals are possible.
Israel's plan to move forward with controversial settlements in eastern Jerusalem – which it took in apparent retaliation for the Palestinian Authority's recent, successful pursuit of recognition as a United Nations nonmember observer state – is prompting an angry response, and likely "real action," from Europe.
Haaretz reports that Britain, France, and Sweden have all summoned Israel's respective ambassadors to their countries to condemn the Israeli plan to build 3,000 new settlement units in the "E1" bloc, a region in eastern Jerusalem, while Germany and Russia both called upon Israel to rethink its plans. And more serious action may be coming, including substantial economic reprisals, Haaretz adds.
“This time it won’t just be a condemnation, there will be real action taken against Israel,” a senior European diplomat said.
Sky News confirmed that the British government was considering severe actions over the matter, quoting sources in the Foreign Office on Monday as saying: "All options are on the table," adding that there was an "appetite for action" within the bureau, and that officials may consider "revisiting" or even suspending EU trade agreements with Israel, based on human rights clauses. ...