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France condemns latest Israeli settlement plans

Jan. 17, 2013 1:08 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2013 10:36 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- France on Thursday condemned Israeli plans to construct 198 new homes in Jewish settlements in the southern West Bank.

Israel's housing ministry on Wednesday released government tenders inviting developers to bid on two building projects in Efrat and Kiryat Arba settlements, Israeli media reported.

A spokesman for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said France was "especially concerned about the impact of these two projects on the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state."

"It therefore calls on the Israeli government to reverse this provocative and illegal decision," the spokesman said in a statement, adding that settlement activity fueled tensions on the ground and constituted an obstacle to peace.
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