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Israeli PM rejects calls for east Jerusalem freeze

Israeli PM rejects calls for east Jerusalem freeze

Israel's prime minister has rejected U.S. calls to halt construction in disputed east Jerusalem, clouding a new peace mission by Washington's Mideast envoy.
Benjamin Netanyahu's made the comments to Channel 2 TV, shortly after the arrival of envoy George Mitchell on Thursday.
Netanyahu declared: "There will be no freeze in Jerusalem."
Netanyahu was repeating a long-standing position, but the timing of the statement threatened to undermine Mitchell's latest efforts to restart peace talks.
The U.S. wants Israel to stop building homes in east Jerusalem, the section of the city claimed by the Palestinians.
Relations have been strained since Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new homes in east Jerusalem.