Israel Halts Construction in E. Jerusalem

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The Israeli government has reportedly imposed a de facto freeze on new construction in the disputed east section of Jerusalem, city officials announced Monday.

An Israeli city councilman has claimed he heard reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a construction freeze.

The news comes after Netanyahu's insistence that construction wouldn't stop despite pressure from the U.S.

Some have speculated Monday's move is part of an effort by the Netanyahu government to mend fences with the U.S.

It isn't clear if the freeze is a formal moratorium or how long it will last. Palestinians want to claim part of Jerusalem as the capital for their future state.

On Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas indicated a willingness to start indirect talks with Israel.

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