Mitchell, Netanyahu again can’t reach deal on building


JERUSALEM (JTA) — George Mitchell and Benjamin Netanyahu met for a second straight day but failed to reach agreement again on halting Israeli construction in the settlements.

The U.S. special Middle East envoy and Israeli prime minister will meet again Friday following Mitchell’s return to Israel from visiting Jordan on Thursday, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. Mitchell had been expected to return Wednesday to the United States.

The Prime Minister’s Office characterized Wednesday’s meeting as "good," but gave no further details.

Mitchell appears determined 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.

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