Netanyahu Defends New Settlements While Visiting Germany

Acknowledges "difference of opinion" with European nations


BERLIN — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel gave no ground on Thursday over his controversial plans to expand Jewish settlements, which have been widely criticized by European allies.

Speaking at a news conference here with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Mr. Netanyahu said the 3,000 new homes planned for settlers represented "a consistent policy" that Israel would continue under any version of an eventual peace deal with the Palestinians.