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Russia Urges Israel to Reconsider Settlement Expansion

Russia urged Israel on Monday to reconsider plans to expand Jewish settlements on occupied land after Palestinians won de facto U.N. recognition of statehood, saying building new homes would undermine any chance for direct peace talks.

In a statement issued a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off condemnation from the United States and European nations, Russia also criticized Israel's announcement it was withholding Palestinian tax revenues.

Russia "views these Israeli intentions with the most serious concern," the Foreign Ministry statement said.

"Implementation of the announced plans for large-scale settlement activity would have a very negative effect on efforts to resume direct negotiations aimed at a two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," it said.

(Reuters)

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