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Settlers seize Palestinian land in Nablus

Dec. 28, 2010 9:30 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 29, 2010 7:58 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of settlers took over 60 dunums of Palestinian land in the Nablus district on Tuesday, Palestinian Authority official Ghassan Doughlas said.

Doughlas, who holds the settlements file for the northern West Bank, said settlers erected fences around the land and began digging. The land belongs to Jalud village, which is surrounded by four illegal settlements.

The Israeli news site Ynet reported Thursday that "settlements are growing at an almost unprecedented pace" since the expiry of a partial building freeze on September 26.

Doughlas said the construction boom was a "blow to the American administration" and the international community, flying in the face of peace efforts.

Peace negotiations, relaunched in Washington on September 2, fell apart within weeks over Israel's refusal to extend the partial freeze.

Palestinian negotiators refused US requests to continue negotiations via American mediators, saying they would not resume talks until Israel made a "substantial" move toward a peace deal, an offer that would have to include an end to settlement construction.
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