London, Dec 4: Israel has refused to bow down to international pressure to halt plans for 3,000 new settler homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israel would continue to stand by its “vital interests” and would not change its decision.
“Israel will continue to stand by its vital interests, even in the face of international pressure, and there will be no change in the decision that was made,” an official from his office said.
Israel authorised the 3,000 additional housing units a day after the UN voted to upgrade the Palestinians to the status of a non-member observer state, the BBC reports.
Israel angrily condemned the Palestinian move as a “gross violation” of previous agreements.
Plans for construction in the E1 area – between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim – are strongly opposed by Palestinians.
Russia, Germany and the US have also objected to the Israeli plans.
The UK, France, Spain, Denmark and Sweden summoned Israeli ambassadors in protest at the plans. (ANI)