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Israel rejects US call for settlement freeze

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But Israel quickly rebuffed Ms. Clinton's remarks, reports The Guardian.

Deepening differences are emerging between Israel's new government, led by the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the US administration, which has adopted a tougher position over Israel's actions towards the Palestinians than in the past.
Israel has said it will not build new settlements and is committed to removing settlement outposts that are not authorised by the government. However, Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, said today that "normal life" would be allowed to continue inside existing settlements, which included new construction such as enlarging homes and building schools to accommodate growing families.

Clinton also said that the US will offer both sides "very specific proposals" in an effort to bring them to the table, reports the Daily Telegraph. Palestinian officials have for the most part welcomed the new American diplomatic overtures. Mr. Netanyahu has also expressed his willingness to start talks with the Palestinians again, but has not endorsed a two-state solution.

"I hope the United States will also establish a mechanism to obligate the Israeli government to respect its engagements under roadmap, namely a complete halt to settlement activity," Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said.
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