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Mideast Quartet urges extended settlement freeze

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Mideast Quartet urges extended settlement freeze


With the clock running down, Israel is under growing pressure to extend its freeze on settlements.

The Middle East peace Quartet, made up of the UN, the US, the EU and Russia, has hailed the effects of the 10-month ban which expires next week and asked that it be continued.

The Quartet issued a statement on Tuesday ahead of this week’s UN General Assembly in New York.

Direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders re-started earlier this month but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insists that he will abandon them if settlement building resumes.

The West Bank settlements are deemed illegal by the UN but Israel disputes this. One of several obstacles to a peace deal, it is the most pressing given next week’s deadline.

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