Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians, but made no new proposals.

"I want to make this clear: My goal is not to have endless negotiations. My goal is not negotiations for the sake of negotiations. My goal is to achieve a permanent peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians," Netanyahu told a conference of American Jewish leaders on Monday.

Netanyahu reiterated that peace negotiations should begin with no preconditions.

The prime minister said his government is willing to limit Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank.

"No Israeli government has been so willing to restrain settlement activity," Netanyahu said. "I say today to [Palestinian leader Mahmoud] Abbas ... let us seize the moment to reach a historic agreement. Let us begin talks immediately."

Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank is a major obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians. Abbas recently said he would not run in Palestinian presidential elections in January, citing a lack of progress in peace talks and criticizing Washington for failing to press Israel on the settlements.

Netanyahu also met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday evening. The White House said the two leaders discussed "how to move forward on Middle East peace" and also spoke about Iran and security issues.