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Israel adds 20 settlements to government aid list

Aug. 5, 2013 9:47 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 9, 2013 11:05 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- The Israeli government on Sunday added 20 illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to a list drawn up in 2009 of communities prioritized for aid.

Hundreds of communities in the occupied Palestinian territory figure on the list for public aid in housing, infrastructure, education, cultural activities and security spending.

The settlements added to the priority list include communities outside the main blocks over which Israel aims to keep control under any peace settlement with the Palestinians, said Haaretz newspaper.

It said most of them are strongholds of Jewish Home, a nationalist party in the coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who refused to declare a freeze on settlement construction as demanded by the Palestinians as a condition for a renewal of peace talks.

Talks resumed in Washington last week after a three-year hiatus.

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