JERUSALEM, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman summoned Friday the ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy and Spain to protest pro-Palestinian "bias," just days after Israeli envoys to these countries were reprimanded over recently announced settlement activities.
Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem notified the envoys of Israel's discontent with what it perceives as the "constant one- sided pro-Palestinian position" adopted by their governments, local media said.
Their stances are "unacceptable and appear to always intentionally put the blame on Israel," Lieberman was quoted as explaining his decision to convene the emissaries.
"Israel is trying very hard to facilitate the peace process and to allow the continued dialogue with the Palestinians, and the positions these countries take both ignore reality and significantly harm the possibility of reaching an agreement," said Lieberman.
The rebuke came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening accused the EU of "hypocrisy" in condemning West Bank settlement construction while turning a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority's incitement to violence, which Israel says played a critical role in fuelling a spate of lethal attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in recent months.
Angered by the reprimand of Israeli ambassadors in London, Paris, Madrid and Rome last week over the recent publication of tenders for building 1,400 settlement housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem -- areas beyond the pre-1967 lines that the Palestinians slate to become part of their future state -- Netanyahu asked when EU countries last summoned Palestinian diplomats to condemn "incitement to Israel's destruction" or the occasional involvement of Palestinian security personnel in attacks targeting Israelis.
"I think it's time to stop this hypocrisy. Israel, which goes to a great length to maintain peace and combat terror for the benefit of both Israelis and Palestinians, is always criticized," the prime minister stressed.
He said that the EU's unbalanced approach to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict is counter-productive to facilitating peace due to its failure to hold the Palestinians accountable for " incitement to violence and terror."