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Israel Offers Halt To Housing Project

Sat., May 24, 1997

Israel has offered a temporary freeze on construction of a disputed housing project in an attempt to revive stalled Middle East peace talks, Channel 1 television reported Friday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the offer at a meeting with Osama el-Baz, an adviser to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the TV report said. El-Baz was in Israel for Tuesday’s summit between Netanyahu and Mubarak.

The Har Homa housing project is being built by Israel for Jews on captured Arab land in Jerusalem where the Palestinians hope to establish their capital.

Peace talks hit an impasse after Israel broke ground for the 6,500-unit project in March. Israel has repeatedly refused to back down on the construction.

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