Palestinians cool to expected settlement freeze offer

Palestinians cool to exp

Palestinian officials said Wednesday they rejected an expected offer from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to partially freeze West Bank settlement construction, even before it was made public. The Prime Minister's office refused to comment on Israeli reports that he would announce the freeze later Wednesday. Earlier this week, Israeli TV said the freeze would last for 10 months. The plan would apply only to the West Bank and not include Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said any freeze that did not include east Jerusalem would be unacceptable. The Palestinians have refused to reopen peace talks with Israel until it halts all settlement construction.