JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's prime minister has dismissed international critics of Jewish settlements as hypocrites.
Speaking to foreign journalists, Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that claiming settlements were an obstacle to peace was "bogus."
Israelis and Palestinians began peace talks in July after years of stalemate. Israel has come under heavy criticism for continuing its settlement construction during the talks but Netanyahu insisted this was "part of the deal" when talks began. Some 500,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas the Palestinians claim for a future state.
Netanyahu said the European Union summoned Israeli ambassadors to protest construction of "a few houses" but did not do the same about Palestinian incitement against Israeli. He said: "I think it is time to stop this hypocrisy."
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