Netanyahu Agrees to Halt Settlements

After much prodding by the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has finally budged on the issue of new settlements in the West Bank. He agreed Saturday to push his cabinet to issue a construction moratorium for 90 days, thereby opening the door to further peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. And all it took was the United States’ dangling a package of security incentives and $3 billion worth of fighter jets—all contingent on the ultimate signing of a peace agreement. The deal was worked out by Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a seven-and-a-half hour meeting in New York this week, with the promise that the U.S. would not ask for any renewals of the construction freeze. Still, more hard work awaits Netanyahu now as he tries to convince his cabinet to accept the terms.