Middle East

Israeli premier phones European leaders after ban

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office in Israel Sunday, July 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool)

JERUSALEM: Israel's prime minister Wednesday talked with a series of European leaders a day after the announcement of a decision on a European funding ban to Israeli institutions operating in occupied territories.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would not disclose the content of Wednesday's phone calls. Israeli media reported Netanyahu urged his counterparts to delay the measure.

The European Union said the ban applies to "grants, prizes and financial instruments." The new funding guidelines go into effect in 2014.

The EU decision marked a new international show of displeasure with Israeli settlements built on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians claim some of those territories - the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem - for their hoped-for state.





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