Britain, France and Sweden summoned the Israeli ambassadors in their respective capitals to hear deep disapproval of the plan to erect 3,000 more homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Ahead of a Netanyahu visit this week, Germany, considered Israel's closest ally in Europe, urged it to refrain from expanding settlements, and Russia said it viewed the Israeli moves with serious concern.
Angered by the U.N. General Assembly's upgrading on Thursday of the Palestinians' status in the world body from "observer entity" to "non-member state", Israel said the next day it would build the new dwellings for settlers.
Such projects in the past, on land Israel captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians seek for a future state, have routinely drawn almost pro forma world condemnation.
Read More: Israel faces European backlash over settlement plan | Reuters