The British, French and Swedish foreign ministries summoned Israeli ambassadors to complain about Israel’s decision to build 3,000 new homes in Jerusalem and West Bank and expedite planning for the E1 area between Jerusalem and the town of Maaleh Adummim. A spokesman for PM David Cameron denied he was weighing the drastic measures [reported by British Sky TV] of recalling the British ambassador from Israel or cancelling trade agreements. The French foreign minister also commented: “There are other ways to show disapproval of Israeli settlement plans other than recalling ambassadors.”

The ambassadors replied that Israel’s response was mild compared with the Palestinian action in applying for nonmember observer status that was approved last Thursday - in violation of its standing agreements with Israel, including the Oslo peace framework accords.