Tense

Israel Accelerates Settlement Building

A day after the United Nations' cultural agency voted to recognize Palestine as a state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accelerated the building of controversial settlements in the West Bank. Israel announced the construction of 2,000 new housing units in a statement released after a special cabinet session on the UNESCO vote. An Israeli official says the cabinet also decided to temporarily halt funding for the Palestinian Authority until a final decision is made. "You can't demand from the Israeli public to continue to show restraint when the Palestinian leadership continues to slam the door in their face," the official said.