Israeli Ambassador summoned

Middle East Minister Alastair Burt formally called Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub to the FCO to express the British government’s concern over Israel’s decisions to build settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and to withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority.

Minister Burt said: “I called on the Israeli government to reverse [the decisions]. 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.”

The Israeli action followed a vote in the UN General Assembly to upgrade the status of Palestine to a non-member observer state, allowing Palestine to participate in debates and join bodies such as the International Criminal Court.

The UK abstained because the Palestinian Authority did not make commitments requested by Britain, including a pledge not to pursue Israel for war crimes and to resume peace talks without preconditions.