Barak hopes settlement freeze will help restart talks with Palestinians

Barak hopes settlement f

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he hope that the recent security cabinet decision to cast a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction would enable the rekindling of peace talks with Palestinians. "It won't happen tomorrow, but my evaluation is that the negotiations will be renewed, maybe after the Americans consolidate their own proposal, within a few weeks," Barak told Israel Radio on Thursday. The alternative to negotiations is a political standstill, which could lead to violence and strengthen Hamas, he added.