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U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) reaffirmed his support for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv when he and a congressional delegation arrived in Israel over the weekend. But Gingrich backed off from his vow to visit the site of the proposed embassy after he received a request from the White House and State Department to avoid the visit because of concern that it might spark Palestinian protests. Meanwhile, Palestinian officials criticized statements of support for Israel made by Gingrich and other delegation members, saying the legislators had no place in the peace process.

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