PARIS (AFP) - France summoned the Israeli ambassador in Paris on Thursday to demand an immediate halt to Jewish settlement building in East Jerusalem, and the reopening of border crossings into the Gaza Strip. The French Foreign Ministrys head of political affairs Gerard Araud made the demands during a meeting with the Israeli envoy, Daniel Shek, said Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier. Araud stressed that Paris wants an immediate freeze on settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem, the spokesman said. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner summoned the Israeli Ambassador after similar action by the US, in protest at plans to build 20 new apartments on the site of a former hotel in the Arab sector of the Holy City. Israel has so far defied international criticism of the plans and on Tuesday rejected calls from the US, the European Union and Russia to freeze settlements in east Jerusalem. The French Foreign Ministry also urged Israel to reopen border crossings into the Gaza Strip, which has been under a blockade since Hamas seized power in 2007, warning the situation cannot remain as it is. Israel must reopen border crossings on a regular basis to allow Gaza to rebuild itself and life to return to normal, Chevallier said. Araud also voiced Frances concern about restrictions on the movements of our diplomats in the Palestinian territories over the last few months. Several French diplomats have reported run-ins with Israeli security forces in recent months and in one case a consular agent was brutally dragged from her car by a Jerusalem police officer. Paris stressed the need for Israeli security forces to respect international law concerning diplomatic and consular agents, Chevallier said. Israel meanwhile rejected calls by France to freeze Jewish settlement building and to reopen border crossings into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. A solution to the settlements can only be reached through a comprehensive and final peace agreement, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP. In order to promote peace, France would do well to persuade the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel which have been frozen since the end of last year, he added. Palmor said Israels blockade of Gaza was the result of the state of war imposed by Hamas as well as the detention for more than three years of (Israeli-French) soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was captured by activists from Hamas and two smaller groups who had tunnelled out of Gaza on June 25, 2006 and attacked an army post, killing two other soldiers.