August 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli officials confirmed Monday 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.

"Many options are being discussed. It's not that simple," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

In Washington, a US official confirmed the dialogue with Israel and said no decisions have been taken.

Palestinian officials said Monday that President Mahmoud Abbas had sent a letter to the US threatening to withdraw from the negotiations, which are set to begin next week in Washington, if the settlement freeze ends.

US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Washington understands the issue's importance and will make sure it is discussed at the start of negotiations.

"We are very mindful of the Palestinian position, and once we are into direct negotiations we expect that both parties will do everything within their power to create an environment for those negotiations to continue constructively," he said.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017