Britain says EU not looking at Israel sanctions

LONDON Tue Dec 4, 2012 6:16pm IST

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives in Downing Street in London December 3, 2012. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives in Downing Street in London December 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday that European sanctions against Israel in response to its latest plans to build settlements on disputed land were not an option.

However, he told parliament that he was in talks with other European foreign ministers about formulating "incentives and disincentives" to support U.S. efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to expand settlement building after the United Nations' de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood last week, and has brushed off international criticism of the move.

The land Israel plans to build on is seen as essential for a contiguous Palestinian state as envisaged by the internationally backed two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

"I don't think there is enthusiasm around the European Union ... about economic sanctions in Europe on Israel. I don't believe there would be anywhere near a consensus nor is that our approach. We continue to try to bring both sides back to negotiations," Hague said.

"Nevertheless, if there is no reversal of the decision that has been announced, we will want to consider what further steps European countries should take," he said.

France on Monday also dismissed the prospect of European sanctions on Israel.

Settlement building on land Israel captured in a 1967 war is considered illegal by most world powers and have routinely drawn condemnation from them.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; editing by Stephen Addison)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

MIDDLE EAST

Reuters Showcase

Typhoon Kalmaegi

Typhoon Kalmaegi

Typhoon spares Hong Kong, but disrupts business.  Full Article 

Hurricane Odile

Hurricane Odile

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting.  Full Article 

NATO Points Finger

NATO Points Finger

Top NATO commander questions Russian intentions toward Moldova.  Full Article 

Asteroid Search

Asteroid Search

NASA's hunt for dangerous asteroids falls short, report shows.  Full Article 

Fiji Vote

Fiji Vote

Ghosts of ethnic conflicts past haunt Fiji vote.  Full Article 

Iceland Whaling

Iceland Whaling

EU, U.S. blast Iceland for stepping up whaling.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage