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Israel says to free Palestinians and build more settlements

Dec. 26, 2013 10:03 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 26, 2013 10:03 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel will announce plans for new settlement construction next week, coinciding with the release of a third batch of Palestinian prisoners as part of peace talks, an official said Thursday.

"The Israeli government will announce tenders for new construction in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem which will coincide with the release of a third group of Palestinian prisoners," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Two previous rounds of prisoner releases in August and October have been accompanied by Israeli announcements of fresh construction on land the Palestinians want for a future state, provoking Palestinian ire.
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