Speaking after summoning Israeli Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub to the Foreign Office this morning, Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said:
“This morning I met Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, who was formally summoned to the Foreign Office. Mr Taub was summoned following the Israeli decisions to build 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, to unfreeze planning in the area known as E1 and to withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority. I set out the depth of the UK’s concern about these decisions and I called on the Israeli government to reverse them. The settlements plan in particular has the potential to alter the situation on the ground on a scale that threatens the viability of a two state solution.
“I also made clear that the strength of our reaction stems from our disappointment that the Israeli Government has not heeded the calls that we and others had made for Israel to avoid reacting to the UN General Assembly resolution in a way that undermines the Palestinian Authority or a return to talks.”
Speaking today, a Foreign Office spokesperson said:
“We deplore the recent Israeli government decision to build 3,000 new housing units and unfreeze development in the E1 block. This threatens the viability of the two state solution.
“We have called on the Israeli government to reverse this decision. The Israeli Ambassador to London, Daniel Taub, has been formally summoned to the Foreign Office this morning by the Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt. The Minister set out the depth of the UK’s concerns.
“Any decision about any other measures the UK might take will depend on the outcome of our discussions with the Israeli government and with international partners including the US and European Union.”