Palestinians to Submit UN Draft Condemning Israeli Settlements This Week

Palestinians hope the United Nations body will pass a resolution condemning Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Monday that the Palestinian Authority expected to ask the United Nations Security Council this week to declare Israeli settlements illegal and demand a halt to their construction.

Erekat said the request is likely to be submitted by Wednesday, on the day that the Security Council holds its monthly meeting on Middle East issues. As the Palestinians have only observer status at the United Nations, the resolution will be presented by a full member of the council.


Erekat says the Palestinians will hold more consultations at the United Nations later Monday, and hope to win the support of 14 of the council's 15 members.

Erekat says U.S. officials urged the Palestinians not to go to the Security Council over settlements. He says he does not know whether the U.S. will veto the settlement resolution. He urged the Obama administration not to do so.

Weeks of intensive U.S. diplomatic efforts to revive direct peace talks between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu collapsed when Israel refused to extend a 10-month partial building freeze in the West Bank.

Nearly 500,000 Jews live on land captured by Israel in the Six-Day War, where the Palestinians want to found a state that would also include the Gaza Strip, separated from the West Bank.