The Israeli Defence Ministry has approved the building of 50 new homes in West Bank settlements despite U.S. calls for a halt on construction. This comes as Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak travels to the US for talks meant to end a clash between the two countries over settlement issues. Israel seized the West Bank from Palestinians during the six-day war in 1967, and 2,500 Israeli homes are currently under construction in the territory. But Israel could be softening its hard-line position. Barak said Sunday that his government may agree to a three-month moratorium on all construction within settlements.