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Reports: US wants Israel to cancel building plan

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli officials say the U.S. is pressing Israel to scrap a contentious east Jerusalem building project. The plan has touched off the most serious diplomatic feud with Washington in years because it complicates efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The plan to build 1,600 apartments was approved during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region last week.

U.S. officials have not disclosed what steps they want Israel to take. But Israeli newspapers and radio stations reported today that Washington wants the construction project canceled.

Palestinians object to Israeli construction in east Jerusalem because they want that sector of the city for their capital.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu objects to partitioning Jerusalem and wants to keep the city united under Israeli control.


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