French FM Laurent Fabius
French FM Laurent FabiusReuters

France on Thursday joined in the condemnations of Israel over a plan to build 2,610 new homes in eastern Jerusalem, calling the project a “direct threat” to the two-state solution.

"If this decision is upheld, it would mark the creation of a new settlement in east Jerusalem for the first time in more than 15 years," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement quoted by AFP.

"This announcement directly threatens the two-state solution" at a time when all efforts should be focused on peace, he said, calling on the Israeli authorities to reverse their decision.

"One cannot claim to be advocating for a solution while at the same time acting against it, without conclusions being drawn from that, particularly within the European Union," Fabius said, according to AFP.

The housing units, which have been slated for construction since 2012 in the neighborhood of Givat Hamatos, were given final approval last week.

The project has also drawn sharp criticism from the United States, with President Barack Obama on Wednesday telling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Washington's deep concern over the proposed development.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also criticized the move and used unusually harsh language in doing so.

Psaki said the step would send a “troubling message” and added the construction would “poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations."

Netanyahu hit back at Washington’s criticism on Thursday, in a series of interviews he gave to the foreign press while in Washington.