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Israel: We're Ready to Make a Deal on Settlements

But 'there cannot be zero construction'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2010 6:35 AM CDT
Israel: We're Ready to Make a Deal on Settlements
This photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 21. 2010, shows a general view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel.   (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

(Newser) – Israel has signaled that it’s ready to make a deal to curb the growth of its West Bank settlements, just two days before the current partial construction moratorium expires. “Israel is prepared to reach a compromise acceptable to all parties,” a senior government official tells the AFP, and Benjamin Netanyahu is “making intensive efforts to reach such a compromise.” But he added, “There cannot be zero construction.”

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Barack Obama called for an extension of the 10-month moratorium yesterday, and Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his threat to walk away from peace talks if it didn’t happen. Until now, Netanyahu has been adamant that he will allow the ban to expire. But in recent days he’s been meeting with Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and others to discuss ideas for a compromise, the official said. (Read more Benjamin Netanyahu stories.)

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