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Hague condemns Israel homes plan

Israeli plans to build 1,300 new settler homes in occupied east Jerusalem were condemned by Foreign Secretary William Hague as "extremely disappointing".

His remarks in the Commons came as the US and UN criticised Israel's final approval for almost 1,000 new homes in the settlement of Har Homa, near Bethlehem, and about 300 in Ramot.

Mr Hague said he had urgently called for a new freeze on Israeli settlement building during his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories last week.

During question time, he told shadow foreign secretary Yvette Cooper: "The immediate priority, of course, is to get the peace process going again and the direct talks going, and of course I've put the argument very strongly to Israeli leaders and on the Israeli media that that requires a new freeze on Israeli settlement building on the West Bank.

"That is the immediate issue and the announcements that we've heard in the last 24 hours are extremely disappointing in that regard."

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