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Israel offers 10-month West Bank settlement freeze

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a 10-month freeze on West Bank settlement construction in what he says is an attempt to jumpstart Mideast peace talks.

Netanyahu's office released a statement saying he would bring the proposal to his Security Cabinet later Wednesday.

The freeze would not include east Jerusalem - the area of the holy city claimed by the Palestinians for a future capital.

Netanyahu has already floated the idea, but he has never given a firm time commitment such as in Wednesday's announcement.

Even so, the Palestinians say the offer is unacceptable because it does not include east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians refuse to reopen peace talks with Israel until it halts all settlement construction.


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