Israel pressed ahead with plans to build 3,300 new settlement homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, raising tensions with the U.S. at a time when the allies are at odds over a new Palestinian government.
A top Palestinian official sought to reassure critics that a reconciliation deal with the Gaza Strip’s militant Hamas rulers doesn’t mean Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is backing away from peace efforts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that Iran must face greater pressure to stop it from developing nuclear arms, his spokesman said. He also expressed hope that disputes that have stalled Middle East peace talks will be resolved.
Egypt mediated a truce seeking an end to two days of clashes between Gaza Strip militants and Israel’s military, a militant leader said. There was no immediate confirmation from Israel or Egypt, and violence continued after the report.
Israel told the Palestinians it’s willing to withdraw from only 40 percent of the West Bank, a Palestinian official close to the peace talks said, indicating how far U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is from delivering an accord.
Israel said it may expand an assault on the Gaza Strip amid a fifth day of rocket attacks on its cities, as regional leaders raced to broker an accord ending a conflict that has killed 67 Palestinians and three Israelis.