The British Embassy in Israel has cancelled its plans to relocate to a building part owned by billionaire Lev Leviev because of his alleged involvement in building settlements in the West Bank.

The embassy had been planning to move to the Hakirya building in Tel Aviv which is part owned by Leviev’s Africa-Israel property company.

But after reports that the company was involved in building Jewish settlements in the occupied territory in the West Bank the embassy pulled its plans.

Jewish settlements, built on occupied land which Palestinians claim they own, have been criticised by the European Union as a violation of international law.

British Embassy spokeswoman Karen Kaufman told Property Week: ‘The UK has had a long standing policy in relation to settlements.

'We say that anything built over the green line is illegal and we see the settlements as a barrier to peace.

‘When we first started looking at the building stories started appearing about the involvement of Africa-Israel with building the settlements.

‘We wrote to the company to ask for more information but their answers did not satisfy our concerns.’