April 22, 2010
Mitchell heading for Israel
U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell will meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials this week.
Mitchell was set to arrive Thursday in Israel in a visit scheduled at the last minute following a meeting Wednesday between Israeli and U.S. diplomatic officials, Palestinian officials told Reuters.
It is Mitchell’s first visit to the region since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama met in Washington a month ago in a meeting that appeared to publicly illustrate the deep differences between the two leaders and countries.
Mitchell will meet Friday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, according to reports citing Palestinian officials.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Netanyahu has rejected an Obama administration call for a total construction freeze in eastern Jerusalem, but has agreed to implement other confidence-building measures toward the Palestinians, including transferring more West Bank territory to PA security control and discussing final-status issues during indirect negotiations.