JERUSALEM – Israel's Foreign Ministry summoned European ambassadors for consultations Thursday, lambasting the European Union (search) for supporting a U.N. General Assembly (search) resolution calling on Israel to tear down its West Bank barrier.
Foreign Ministry director-general Ilan Biran summoned the ambassadors to express Israel's displeasure over the European position on the barrier, the ministry said in a statement.
The European Union vote shows it is "willing to pay the price of the basic principles of justice and morality and raises doubts about the European Union's ability to contribute constructively to the advance of the peace process," the statement said.
The European support "even encourages Palestinian terrorism," according to the statement.
Israel says the string of fences, walls and barbed wire that will eventually stretch 425 miles keeps out suicide bombers. Palestinians say the construction of the barrier is a land grab since it cuts into the West Bank at several points.
The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution Tuesday calling on Israel to take down the barrier and comply with a nonbinding ruling issued earlier this month by the International Court of Justice (search) in The Hague, Netherlands.
European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, had photo opportunities and meetings with Israeli government officials canceled Thursday, but a meeting and news conference with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was to go ahead as scheduled.
An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel had decided to give Solana an especially "difficult and cold reception."
Israel has refused to comply to the world court ruling and the U.N. resolution. Neither of them are legally binding, but both have symbolic significance.