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Peace Now petitions Obama on settlement freeze

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — Americans for Peace Now delivered a petition to the White House asking President Obama to press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to extend a settlement freeze.

At the behest of Obama, Netanyahu last year partially froze settlement building for 10 months; the freeze lapses in September.

"You were right to push Israel to adopt a settlement freeze last year," says the petition, which garnered nearly 16,000 signatures. "Now you need to take action to see it extended. Those of us who care about Israel know that settlement construction is bad for Israel. It undermines faith in peace talks and it complicates negotiations over the future border between Israel and the Palestinians."

Americans for Peace Now delivered the petition on Tuesday, the day that Obama and Netanyahu met to discuss Middle East peace talks and other issues. Neither side would say whether there was discussion about the pending settlement freeze deadline.

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