The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will announce a freeze in construction of West Bank settlements. The news comes in advance of a Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland later this month. According to the report, Israel sent top officials to the U.S. to work out the details of the settlement freeze.
Israel's parliament, meanwhile, gave preliminary approval to legislation that would make it more difficult for Israel to surrender parts of Jerusalem. The Palestinians are seeking the return of "Arab" East Jerusalem, which was captured in 1967, and later annexed by Israel.