The Israel and Gaza recent hostilities may be ended, at least for now, but the region remains volatile. Last week Palestine's status in the UN was upgraded and |Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu showed his displeasure by announcing a range of building projects. The new builds would encroach on Palestinian land and effectively cut that country in two.
Whilst many countries in the West voiced concerns over Israel's new building plans no action has been taken, other than by the diplomatic route. That could be set to change.
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is considering withdrawing the British Ambassador from Israel. He is also looking at putting in place a temporary suspension of trade agreements with Israel. Today Hague and other Ministers will consider what will be the best way forward. Whilst he has not committed to any sanctions or the like yet an announcement is expected.
Germany and France have voiced concerns over the new settler homes which Israel plan to build but as yet have not made further announcements. The US is keeping quiet.
Yesterday the UN representative Ban ki-Moon said in a statement that the announcement of new settler homes being built on the controversial E1 district had ended any chance of peace talks resuming.
As Europe decides how to respond it is claimed that France will be crucial in coordinating any response. That country is loathe to consider the options which Mr Hague is doing.
Just one question-What would be the West's response if the roles were reversed and it was Palestine following such a building project on disputed land?