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Israel moves ahead with divisive plans

Palestinians warn they may pursue war crimes charges

Israel is continuing with plans for two major settlement projects in east Jerusalem even amid warnings the Palestinian government could pursue war crimes charges if it refuses to stop.

International anger over Israeli settlement construction has snowballed in recent days, following last week's UN recognition of a state of Palestine – in lands Israel occupied in 1967 – as a non-member observer in the General Assembly.

Israel retaliated for the UN recognition of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem by announcing plans to build 3,000 homes in settlements on war-won land, as well as preparations for construction of an especially sensitive project near Jerusalem, known as E-1.

The Israeli reprisal has thrust Israel's strongest Western allies into an unusually harsh showdown with them.

Australia became the latest to summon Israel's ambassador in protest, a day after five European countries took such a step.

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