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Israel Freezes Plans to Expand West Bank Settlement

Israel's deputy prime minister says Israel has frozen plans to expand its largest West Bank settlement near Jerusalem.

Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Jerusalem Post that Israel still wants to build some 3,500 new homes in the Maaleh Adumim settlement, but will only move forward on the project with U.S. consent.

The expansion would have cut off east Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinians as a future capital, from the West Bank.

The United States had criticized the move, saying it would violate the internationally-backed road map peace plan that requires Israel to halt settlement growth.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.