Israel has responded to the Palestinians new status at the United Nations with bricks and mortar, reports the Associated Press:
Israel responded swiftly Friday to U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, revealing it will build 3,000 more homes for Jews on Israeli-occupied lands that the world body overwhelmingly said belong to the Palestinians.
The plans also include future construction in a strategic area of the West Bank where critics have long warned that Jewish settlements would kill hopes for a viable Palestinian state.
Israel's moves served as a harsh reminder to Palestinians -- euphoric over the U.N. upgrade -- that while they now have a state on paper, most of it remains very much under Israeli control.
"This is a doomsday scenario," Daniel Seidemann of Ir Amim, a group that promotes coexistence in Jerusalem, said of the building plans.
Israel's decision was bound to embarrass the United States, which was among just nine countries in the 193-member General Assembly to vote against accepting Palestine as a nonmember observer state.
Accelerated settlement construction could also set a more confrontational tone as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas weighs his next moves...