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Mitchell: settlement freeze first step

From NBC's Susan Kroll
Special envoy for Mideast peace George Mitchell told reporters today that the Israelis' announcment to limit settlement construction for 10 months to try to revive peace negotiations with the Palestinians could mark a step toward restarting peace talks.

"It falls short of a full settlement freeze, but it is more than any Israeli government has done before and can help movement toward agreement between the parties," Mitchell said. "We believe the steps announced by the prime minister are significant and could have substantial impact on the ground."

Mitchel said, "For the first time ever an Israeli government will stop housing approvals and all new construction of housing units and related infrastructure in West Bank settlements. That's a positive development."
    
Mitchell said he would return to the Mideast "in the near future".