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Israel approves new settlements as Kerry looks to ease tensions

Palestinian men stand outside a mosque which was set ablaze by Israeli settlers in al-Mughayir, in the occupied West Bank near the Jewish settlement of Shilo, on November 12, 2014Israel approved new settler homes in east Jerusalem on Wednesday despite mounting unrest, as US Secretary of State John Kerry was set for talks with the Palestinian leader on easing tensions. The new settlement construction was announced just hours after suspected Jewish extremists torched a West Bank mosque, in another development likely to inflame tempers in an already heated atmosphere. Months of unrest have escalated in recent days, spreading from annexed east Jerusalem to the West Bank and Arab communities across Israel, raising fears of a new Palestinian uprising.

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