This Friday, April 18, 2014 photo shows the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin, north of the West Bank city of Hebron. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
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Israel approved plans for nearly 14,000 new settler homes during the nine months of peace talks with the Palestinians, an Israeli settlement watchdog said Tuesday as the negotiation period formally ended.Israel's ongoing settlement building has weighed heavily on the negotiation process, with the Palestinians infuriated by the relentless pace of new construction approvals on land they want for a future state.Israel has flatly refused, with Netanyahu rejecting the notion that settlement building ran counter to peace efforts, saying he never agreed to any "restraints on construction" throughout the talks.
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