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Mitchell, Netanyahu can’t reach compromise on construction

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and George Mitchell ended without a compromise on construction in the West Bank.

The Israeli prime minister and the U.S. Middle East envoy met for more than two hours Tuesday in Jerusalem. They are scheduled to meet again Thursday. 

Mitchell hopes to strike a deal with Israel on freezing construction in the settlements before the United Nations General Assembly meeting Sept. 23.

A deal would allow the United States to arrange a meeting with Obama, Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the General Assembly. Abbas has said he will not meet with Netanyahu until construction is halted.

"We are practiced hands, and we extend our hands to the United States and to the Palestinians in the quest for advancing peace, prosperity and security in our region," Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting.

"We hope to bring this phase of our discussions to early conclusion and move forward in our common search for a comprehensive peace in the region," Mitchell responded.

Mitchell was scheduled to meet later in the day with Abbas in Ramallah. 
 

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