US hosts Israel, Palestinians for peace talks

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By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Diplomats have long stressed the urgency of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As a new round of Mideast peace talks begins, Secretary of State John Kerry thinks time may be running out.

Israeli settlements have doubled in the West Bank since 2000. The Palestinians are claiming that Arabs will outnumber Jews in the Holy Land by 2020. And last year, the U.N. General Assembly recognized a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

The new round of talks, which resume Tuesday in Washington, follows six months of shuttle diplomacy to restart negotiations that broke down in 2008.

After years of stalemate, there has been a flurry of activity in recent days to set the stage for talks that all sides agree will be difficult.

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