Netanyahu to Tout 10-month Settlement Freeze, Save East Jerusalem

Officials hope 10-month freeze would enable renewal of peace talks according to key PA demand.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering seeking either cabinet or governmental approval for a 10-month freeze in West Bank settlement construction, in a bid to relaunch stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

A senior official in Jerusalem said the move would include a commitment to a series of limitations and restrictions on settlement building, but would not halt construction in East Jerusalem.

Israeli officials hope that the official declaration of a settlement freeze would enable the renewal of the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which has refused to engage in peace talks until Israel implements such a measure.

Netanyahu has updated the Obama administration as to his position on the settlement freeze. The United States has demanded the move for a long time over the past year, and it was not immediately clear whether Washington has accepted Netanyahu's stance.

It was also not clear what the U.S. position was on the exclusion from the freeze of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians wish to make the capital of a future state.