Israel Sees Progress in U.S. Talks on Settlement Freeze

Netanyahu to discuss issue further with Obama's Mideast envoy at meeting in London on Wednesday.

Israeli envoys who have met with U.S. officials on a freeze in West Bank settlement construction have told senior government officials in Jerusalem that the two sides are closing the gaps in their respective positions on the matter.

Yitzhak Molko and Brigadier General Mike Herzog said that there is the possibility of a temporary construction freeze, following talks last week in Washington with senior American officials.

Reports of progress in the talks come ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and special U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, which are due to take place in London on Wednesday.

A source in Jerusalem said Saturday night that he believes the meeting will result in a further narrowing of the gaps. He said that the opinion in Israel is that several further rounds of talks will be necessary, culminating in a meeting between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in September, in order to reach a final understanding on the future of settlement construction.