Jerusalem (AP) - With a critical deadline looming, Israelis and Palestinians were searching Friday for a compromise that would rescue newly resumed peace talks from foundering over an old
Netanyahu ordered his special envoy to the negotiations, Yitzhak Molcho, to remain in the
Netanyahu has signaled a willingness to seek a way out of the impasse, saying earlier this month that the current restrictions on settlements will not remain in place, though there will still be some limits on construction.
An Israeli official said Friday that "all the proposed building for the coming year would in ... no way change the parameters for such a historic peace treaty."
"The sort of building that's being considered is minor and in no way seriously changes the current realities on the ground," he said, without offering specifics. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the search for a compromise was still in progress.
Palestinian officials said they were waiting for the
The Palestinians hope to win a total freeze on any new construction in the coming months. While Abbas has demanded an extension as a condition for continuing talks, there have been signs he has softened his position.
The tense political climate has added to the volatility in the contested holy city, where the killing of a Palestinian man by a Jewish security guard sparked rioting earlier this week.
With a major Jewish holiday coinciding with weekly Muslim prayers Friday, Israeli authorities deployed a reinforced contingent of thousands of police in and around east
With no diplomatic breakthrough in the offing, the
"There is significant back and forth going on," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said late Thursday.
The new surge of diplomatic activism reflected President Barack Obama's impassioned appeal to the world at the United Nations on Thursday to help Israelis and Palestinians resolve their decades-old conflict.
Netanyahu -- a hard-liner who only recently became a convert to the notion of a Palestinian state -- has balked at extending the curbs on
Meanwhile, Palestinian health officials said that a
Also, Mohammed Dababish, a senior Hamas security official arrested in