Israel's response: withhold cash and build more

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Israel's response: withhold cash and build more

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The Israeli government has already anounced concrete reactions to the UN vote on Palestine.

It announced it would keep back about 75-million euros in tax that would normally go to the Palestinian Authority, claiming it is being withheld to settle an unpaid electricity bill.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened Sunday’s cabinet meeting by saying: “Today we are building and we will continue building in Jerusalem and anywhere which is on Israel’s strategic map. The Palestinian Authority’s unilateral step at the UN General Assembly constitutes a blunt violation of the agreements that have been signed with the state of Israel. Therefore, the state of Israel rejects the General Assembly’s resolution.”

Israel’s government has already approved thousands of settlement homes, and has ordered planning to start on developing a sensitive zone known as E1 between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Until now, the US had persuaded Israel to shelve building plans in this area.

Critics say it is at the heart of any future Palestinian state and construction there would destroy the chance of a viable nation.