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France Summons Israeli Ambassador Over Settlements


France has summoned the Israeli ambassador in Paris to demand an immediate end to the construction of Jewish settlements.

A French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Eric Chevallier, says the ministry's political director met with Israeli Ambassador Daniel Shek on Thursday and called for a halt to settlement building, including in east Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, both the European Union and Russia called on Israel to halt plans to build some 20 new apartments in east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Tuesday that Israel has the right to build anywhere in Jerusalem.

The French Foreign Ministry on Thursday also urged Israel to reopen border crossings in the Gaza Strip, to allow reconstruction of the Palestinian territory following Israel's offensive that ended in January.

French officials expressed concern about restrictions on the movements of French diplomats in the Palestinian territories due to Israeli security
measures.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.


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