Israel’s plan to build 3,000 settler homes in an off-limits West Bank area called E1 caused outcry among the international community. Five European countries plus Australia and Brazil filed a formal complaint over the decision. Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu announced the new housing plan a day after the United Nations recognised Palestine as a non-member observer state.
The United States also protested the plan and a reports in an Israeli newspapers the protest wouldn’s have been possible without President Barack Obama’s approval. The article published in the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Israeli officials who spoke on condition of anonymity saying that the outcry over the plan was backed by the Obama administration.
The paper’s commentator wrote:
We would not be mistaken to say that Europe was acting with Washington’s encouragement. The White House authorised Europe to pounce on the Netanyahu government and to punish it.
But another official contacted by The Daily Telegraph believes that Obama didn’t encourage the protest but it is likely he was informed.
It’s more likely that they [the Americans] have been informed and have not raised any objection, but also showed some understanding and maybe even more . There’s probably an understanding between the US and the Europeans that this is the right thing to do at this point.
The international outcry hasn’t however prevented Mr Netanyahu’s office from revisiting his plan. The Israeli premier told FP news agency: “There will be no change in the decision that has been made.”