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Israel Suspends Demolition

Israel has suspended demolition of Palestinian homes built illegally in the West Bank, a move aimed at calming tensions and restarting peace talks, an aide to the prime minister said Sunday.

David Bar-Illan said the army would not demolish more houses before a scheduled meeting Tuesday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The summit is another effort to rescue the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

Palestinian Finance Minister Mohammed Nashashibi called the move a “political bribe” and said the Palestinians reject any demolition.

Israel’s defense ministry issued a statement saying only that it would continue to halt illegal construction of Palestinian homes in areas still under Israeli control.

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