(JTA) — The Obama administration reportedly has abandoned efforts to have Israel freeze its settlements.
"After consulting with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming negotiations," a number of media quoted a senior administration official as saying Tuesday.
The Palestinians left direct talks in late Septemb
er, just weeks after they restarted, demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extend a partial settlement freeze past its 10-month deadline.
The Obama administration prepared an offer of security incentives to entice Netanyahu into extending the freeze, said to amount to $3 billion in addition to the $3 billion Israel already receives annually from the United States.
Netanyahu balked at the package and sought amendments, including U.S. approval of building in eastern Jerusalem.