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Israel Summons European Envoys Over Settlements Dispute

Israel says it has summoned a group of European ambassadors to protest their countries' "one-sided" stand in favor of the Palestinians.

The Israeli government announced on January 17 that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had called in the ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy, and Spain.

The move came a day after the four European Union countries summoned Israeli ambassadors to object to plans to expand settlements in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was "time to stop this hypocrisy" and "inject some balance and fairness to this discussion."

Israel announced last week plans to build 1,400 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton labelled the settlements "an obstacle to peace."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa