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Palestinians, who correctly sensed that disunity only weakened the Palestinians as a whole (and thus served Israel's interests), greeted the announcement with jubilation.Israel immediately used Palestinian national reconciliation as a pretext to suspend peace talks, which were due, in any case, to expire several days later. Settlements clearly signal Israel's fundamental rejection of Palestinian sovereignty over any part of Israel and Palestine.In the nine months of the latest round of negotiations, Israel authorized nearly 14,000 new housing starts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, demolished more than 300 Palestinian homes, and continued to expropriate Palestinian land for illegal Jewish settlement.No political force either internal or external to Israel has proved capable of slowing, let alone reversing, Israel's colonizing juggernaut.
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