Israel's prime minister on Monday accused the international community of "deafening silence" in response to recent vows by the head of the Hamas militant group to fight on until the Jewish state is destroyed, and appeared unmoved by the gathering storm of global condemnation of his government's plans to continue settling the West Bank.
Benjamin Netanyahu's tough words were likely to deepen the rift between Israel and some of its closest allies, particularly in Europe, that has emerged since the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of Palestinian independence last month. In a sign of the tense relations, European Union foreign ministers were gathered in Brussels to condemn new settlement construction that Netanyahu has authorized in response to the U.N. decision.
Speaking to foreign reporters, Netanyahu accused the international community of having double standards, condemning not-yet-built settlements in the West Bank while standing quiet during a historic visit to the Gaza Strip by Hamas' exiled leader, Khaled Mashaal.
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