Palestinians say Kerry close to restarting peace talks with 9-month timeline

Palestinian officials say U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is closing in on an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to relaunch peace talks for a period of six to nine months.

Kerry announced this week that he had narrowed the gaps between the sides. He is expected back in the region in the near future.

The Palestinians want Israel to halt construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, occupied areas where they hope to establish a state, before talks resume.

Two Palestinian officials said Kerry's plan calls for a halt in settlement construction outside of major "blocs" that Israel expects to keep.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Israeli officials had no immediate comment.