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Palestinian prisoners go home

Twenty-six Palestinian prisoners released by Israel have returned to their families in the West Bank and Gaza. President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed some of the men as thousands celebrated their return.

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Kerry holds 'frank' call with Netanyahu ahead of talks

John Kerry phoned the Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his ongoing trip in Brazil. Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

US Secretary of State John Kerry has held a "very frank" phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to keep the move towards Middle East peace on track.

Mr Kerry said he held a "very frank and open, direct discussion of (Israel's announced new) settlements" that Palestinian negotiators said had threatened to "undermine" talks, which are set to resume tomorrow in Jerusalem.

He also spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who he said was "committed to continue to come to this negotiation," despite the building of 1,000 new apartments in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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