PM discusses settlements with senior ministers ahead of Barak's US trip

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday morning convened a meeting with his senior cabinet ministers ahead of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's departure for the US. The meeting was reportedly dedicated to Israel's policy on settlement construction in the West Bank, the main bone of contention between Washington and the Netanyahu government. Barak is scheduled to meet in New York on Monday with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell to hammer out an agreement on the issue.