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    Israel Announces New Settlement Plans in E. Jerusalem

    FILE - Jewish settlements in Jerusalem
    FILE - Jewish settlements in Jerusalem
    VOA News
    Israel has announced plans to build new homes in East Jerusalem, angering Palestinians.

    The government said Wednesday one of the four projects includes 1,500 homes in the Ramat Shlomo area.

    Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, and they fiercely oppose Israeli plans to build there.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the United States does not think continued settlement activity creates a positive environment for the revived peace talks.

    The plans for new settlements come after Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners in the second of a four-stage prisoner release - one of the conditions for the new peace talks.

    Psaki calls freeing prisoners who have killed Israeli citizens a difficult but necessary step to ensure the success of the talks.

    • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds the hand of a freed prisoner during a welcome ceremony at the Palestinian Authority headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 30, 2013.
    • A Palestinian man fires a gun while others gather around a released Palestinian prisoner, Omar Masoud, upon his arrival at his family house in Shati Refugee Camp, Oct. 30, 2013.
    • Released Palestinian prisoner Omar Masoud, who was arrested in May 1993 for killing an Israeli lawyer, walks in the alley of his neighborhood after spending 20 years in an Israeli jail, Shati Refugee Camp, Gaza City, Oct. 30, 2013.
    • Palestinian militants fire during a celebration after the release of Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Sabbagh in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, Oct. 30, 2013.
    • Released Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Sabbagh is surrounded by militants as he greets the crowd at his home in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, Oct. 30, 2013.
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    by: PermReader
    October 30, 2013 9:51 AM
    BREAKING NEWS: " Israel brought down fire of his air forces upon the two Palestinian patriots,who were seriously wunded, after about 500 rockets launched from Gasa."

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 30, 2013 6:48 AM
    Good for Israel to show the magnanimity in releasing 26 prisoners. Though this is not in the interest and security of Israel, it has to be done this way to prove Israel's determination to make peace and allow the Palestinians a state of their own. The trouble is that those now released may return to the same evil that took them to prison in the first place. Better judgment should have been to have death penalty in place to summarily execute those criminals as soon as they are convicted without doubt to avoid further prisoner release or swap in the future - which is in truth a reward for terrorism. However we must note the two cardinal messages in Israel's refusal to relinquish East Jerusalem: Israel is not willing to divide its capital in two to be shared with anybody for whatever reason; The land in contention is too little a space to be shared in two - one side for Israel, one for Palestine. In other words, it is better left as it is to be called Israel with heterogeneity comprising Jews and others and not a monotonous state like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey or any other of those countries that cannot endure democracy because of their lack of plurality.

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