THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Israel has hard choice on settlement

Associated Press / August 24, 2010

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JERUSALEM — Even before peace talks with the Palestinians begin, Israel’s government is fiercely debating a key concession: whether to extend a slowdown of West Bank settlement construction.

Israeli officials confirmed yesterday that the government is in quiet talks with the United States in search of a “creative’’ solution that will allow at least some limited construction to take place after Israel’s 10-month moratorium ends on Sept. 26.

Israel and the Palestinians appear to be jostling for position before the formal launch of negotiations on Sept. 2 at the White House.

The Palestinians are taking a tough line against the settlements, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week laid down key security demands.

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