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Netanyahu trying to convince top ministers to extend settlement freeze

Premier to convene his Forum of Seven for a session on Tuesday over 60-day moratorium in exchange for U.S. guarantees; if majority is in favor, he plans to bring the matter to political-security cabinet at once for a vote.

HAARETZ.com

October 4, 2010 | 4:21 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his forum of top ministers on Tuesday afternoon to debate extending Israel’s moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements for 60 days.

The concession would be made in exchange for a series of reported U.S. guarantees in Israel’s direct peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel halted construction temporarily for 10 months, a freeze that ended on September 26.

The Palestinians have said they would not continue the recently renewed negotiations unless Israel agreed to halt construction again. The Obama administration has urged Israel to reconsider its refusal of that demand.

If Netanyahu succeeds in convincing the Forum of Seven to accept an extension of the construction freeze, he plans to bring the matter to the political-security cabinet for a vote later Tuesday.

Read more at HAARETZ.com.

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