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JERUSALEM — The Israeli government on Friday published plans to build 1,400 housing units in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a move the chief Palestinian negotiator condemned as a “slap” to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s intense push for a Middle East peace deal.
The housing announcement was hardly a surprise. Israeli officials originally said they would promote these units in conjunction with the Dec. 31 release of 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners, but then promised to delay the plan until after Kerry’s latest shuttle diplomacy visit.