The European Union threatened to impose economic sanctions against Israel and called on it to cancel its settlement projects which were announced yesterday.
"We are deeply disappointed that the Israeli Land Administration has published new tenders for 1,466 housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank. This move is unhelpful to peace efforts,'' an EU statement said.
The Zionist regime said Wednesday it is moving ahead with the planning and construction of hundreds of Jewish settlement homes as retaliation against the new Palestinian government, which has been accepted by the United States and much of the world even though it is supported by Hamas. The announcement enraged the Palestinians and flouted international opinion.
U.S. State Department expressed its "deep disappointment" of the broad settlement construction projects. "We said on a regular basis that such actions are unhelpful and it is hard to see how these settlements contribute to peace," U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Herf said at a press briefing.
The German government said it is extremely concerned about Israeli plans to build more settlements in occupied territory, according to Reuters.
"The German government is very worried about this report because this step poses the threat of making efforts to continue peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestines even harder," German government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said.
PA vows strong response
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority vowed an "unprecedented" response to an Israeli announcement of new settlement building.
"The Palestinian leadership will make an unprecedented response to this Israeli step," spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah was quoted as saying by the official Wafa news agency.
"There will be no peace with settlements," he said.
International law considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem occupied territories taken by Israel in 1967, viewing all Jewish settlement building as illegitimate.
Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before the resumption of stalled peace talks with Israel.
Israel announced the new housing units as a price tag for Palestine’s formation of a unity government.
The government is backed by Palestine’s two main political factions, Fatah and Hamas, which used to be bitter rivals. But it is composed of technocrats and does not contain anyone from Hamas.
The EU and U.S. earlier this week snubbed Israel by saying they will work with the new Palestinian cabinet.
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