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Israeli Housing Plan Adds to Tension Ahead of Talks

A plan to build houses in the settlements intensifies the already charged atmosphere three days before the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Israel's housing minister gave final approval for building nearly 1,200 new settlement apartments on lands the Palestinians want for their state, just three days before U.S.-sponsored talks on the borders of such a state are to begin in Jerusalem. For Syria's banned Muslim Brotherhood, the uprising against President Bashar Assad that erupted amid Arab Spring revolts in 2011 provided a long-sought opportunity to stage a comeback after decades spent in exile.