Abbas says new Israeli settlements 'red line'

By Karin Laub

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5 2012 7:32 a.m. MST

"They kill you just as dead, though not as dramatically, with a flourish, as is the case with E-1," he said of Givat Hamatos.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Palestinians should resume talks with Israel, instead of turning to the U.N. "Here is where it's at, not in New York," Palmor said. "If they have something to say, let them say it to us, directly."

Israeli-Palestinian talks have been frozen for the past four years, with Palestinians saying they cannot go back to the table as long as Israel keeps building on occupied land. Israel argues there should be no conditions.

After last week's General Assembly vote, Israel appears increasingly isolated, facing strident international criticism of its continued construction on war-won land the world overwhelmingly said belongs to the Palestinians. Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was in Europe on Wednesday.

He stopped in the Czech Republic, one of only eight countries to vote with Israel at the U.N. last week, before headed to Germany. Germany, one of Israel's closest allies in Europe, abstained in the vote, and has spoken out against the latest settlement plans.

More than half a dozen countries have summoned local Israeli ambassadors since the beginning of the week to protest the latest building plans, including Italy on Wednesday.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the British parliament Tuesday that there might be further diplomatic steps, though he suggested Europe is not considering economic sanctions against Israel for now.

Laub reported from Jericho, West Bank.

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