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Mass rally in Jerusalem at settlement freeze

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Mass rally in Jerusalem at settlement freeze


Thousands of Israeli settlers and their supporters have held a mass rally in Jerusalem, furious at curbs to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.

The protesters surrounded the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his decision last month to partially freeze settlement activity for 10 months.

Despite government reassurances that the halt was only a temporary measure aimed at re-starting stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, many Israelis have been angered by the move.

Almost half a million settlers live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, areas captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

The US has called on the Israeli government to totally halt building and the Palestinians have refused to renew peace talks until all construction stops.

But the freeze has enraged many Jews, resulting in a recent stand off between the Israeli communities and building officials attempting to enforce the new policy.

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