Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has challenged international opposition to his plans to build settlements on occupied land east of Jerusalem.
Speaking to foreign reporters Monday, Mr. Netanyahu accused the international community of having double standards for condemning not-yet-built settlements in the West Bank while remaining silent during a historic visit to the Gaza Strip by Hamas' exiled leader, Khaled Mashaal.
During his first trip to the Hamas-ruled territory over the weekend, Mashaal delivered a series of speeches vowing to wipe Israel off the map.
Mr. Netanyahu accused Europe, the United Nations and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of “deafening silence'' in response to Mashaal's threats.
The Palestinians say the Israeli settlement project, known as E1, would deal a death blow to any hopes for peace since it would separate the West Bank from east Jerusalem, their hoped-for capital, and drive a deep wedge between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank by creating a string of settlements jutting nearly halfway across the West Bank.