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France condemns Israel over settlement building decision

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France Thursday condemned 's decision to build additional settlements in east , warning such move could break the newly resumed peace process.

"France condemns the decision to issue permits for the construction of 186 homes in the Israeli settlements of Har Homa and Pisgat Zeev, in East Jerusalem," Xinhua quoted , the country's foreign affairs ministry as saying.

"With respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the parties must refrain from any gesture that could constitute an obstacle to a just peace based on the two-state solution," it added, noting that settlements would "undermine the trust required for the negotiations under way to succeed".

The peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians came to a halt in 2010 over growing criticism of Israel's expansion of its West Bank settlements before resuming July last year.

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Russia slaps tit-for-tat sanctions on US leaders

Russia barred Thursday a number of US politicians from entering the country in a tit-for-tat move over Washington's sanctions.

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