An anonymous Israeli official has claimed that Europe’s stern reaction to Israel’s decision to bisect the West Bank with a controversial new settlement project was really a US decision.
“The European move is essentially an American move,” one official said, according to Ynet News. “The Brits asked the Americans how to act.”
Israel last week authorized new settlement construction in the controversial area of East Jerusalem known as E1 in a punitive attempt to nullify a contiguous Palestinian state following the successful UN-bid for implicit recognition of Palestinian statehood.
The announcement drew criticism for deliberately breaking the contiguity of the West Bank with the aim to prevent the viability of a Palestinian state. In response, many European countries summoned Israeli ambassadors in an official protest against the E1 settlement, although they pledged not to sanction Israel.
“Nevertheless, if there is no reversal of the decision that has been announced, we will want to consider what further steps European countries should take,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
“The Europeans got the green light to respond with extreme measures and the US in the meantime decided not to impose economic sanctions on the Palestinians in response to their UN bid,” the anonymous official claims. “The Americans decided to bolster Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and push for a resumption of peace talks.”
The White House has denied these accusations, however, with National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor telling POLITICO it “isn’t accurate.”
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