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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
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Image Caption Israel's government has stopped issuing settler housing tenders in the West Bank, hoping to reach common ground with the US, a senior minister says.

The US administration has been putting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under pressure to freeze all settlement work, which has strained normally close ties.

"There is no freeze, there is a waiting period," said Housing Minster Ariel Atias in an Israeli radio interview.

But anti-settlement groups say work in settlements has in fact increased.

Israel's government has stopped issuing settler housing tenders in the West Bank, hoping to reach common ground with the US, a senior minister says.

The US administration has been putting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under pressure to freeze all settlement work, which has strained normally close ties.

"There is no freeze, there is a waiting period," said Housing Minster Ariel Atias in an Israeli radio interview.

But anti-settlement groups say work in settlements has in fact increased.