Israel slams EU's decision
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted Tuesday the European Union's decision to add a clause to agreements between its members and Israel specifying they will not apply to Israeli occupied territories in the West Bank, Xinhua reported.
In response, Netanyahu held an urgent meeting Tuesday afternoon with Justice Minister and chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennet and Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin.
According to the EU's decision, delivered as a guideline for its member states, it is prohibited for any country or companies located on their territories to do business with firms or bodies situated in the West Bank settlement.
Slamming the EU's decision, the Israeli prime minister said he expected the body to focus on other worrying developments in the region, such as the Syrian crisis and the Iranian nuclear issue, instead of Israel's settlement policy.
"As prime minister, I would not allow hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in Judea and Samaria (the biblical name of the West Bank) to be hurt, as well as those living in the Golan Heights and Jerusalem," said Netanyahu.
"We will not accept anyone on the outside dictate our borders to us. This topic will only be determined by direct negotiation between the two parties."
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority came to a halt in 2010 over Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank, which represents a key issue in the attempts to resume negotiations.