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Washington's deadline for reaching a peace deal expired Tuesday with the sides bitterly divided and warnings that Israel risked becoming an "apartheid state" if it failed to make peace with the Palestinians.Until a month ago, the Palestinians had suspended moves on the international front to give the talks a chance but resumed the process after Israel reneged on a commitment to release two dozen veteran prisoners.If Israel continued its relentless drive to build beyond the 1967 Green Line, it would end up turning into an apartheid state, he said, echoing a similar warning by Kerry.In his apology, Kerry insisted that he had never called Israel "an apartheid state" but he did not deny using the term, suggesting only that he used a poor choice of words.Although the talks made little visible progress, they hit a major stumbling block in late March when Israel refused to honour a commitment to free two dozen veteran Palestinian prisoners, prompting Abbas to resume recognition moves by signing 15 international treaties.
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