Continued from page 1

But his strategy has antagonized Israel’s allies, and the fierce international reactions appear to have caught Israeli officials off guard.

The United States, using especially harsh language, on Tuesday accused Israel of engaging in a “pattern of provocative action,” and the U.N. Security Council debated the matter on Wednesday. There was no vote.

Palestinian officials predicted that the entire council except the U.S. would condemn the settlements. Despite its opposition to the settlements, Washington has a long history of using its veto power to protect Israel at the U.N., saying that such condemnations do not promote peace.