Palestinian Authority to turn to UN Security Council over Israeli settlements 1Jan12 January 1, 2012

Haaretz  -  31 December 2011

The Palestinian Authority said on Saturday that it would ask the United Nations Security Council to discuss Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – land the Palestinians want for a future state.

“In light of the escalation in the settlement campaign, the Palestinian leadership has decided to ask the Security Council to discuss this critical development, which threatens to destroy the peace process and the two-state solution,” it said in a statement.

A similar attempt by the Palestinian Authority failed in February, after the United States vetoed a draft resolution condemning Israel’s settlement building.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he will not resume peace talks unless Israel halts all settlement activities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he wants to resume peace negotiations without preconditions.

On Wednesday, a top Israeli official said the Palestinian Authority informed the Quartet two weeks ago that it would renege on its demand for a settlement freeze if Israel releases 100 prisoners as a show of good will.

The prisoners in question are reportedly all veteran inmates, incarcerated in Israeli prisons since before the Oslo accords.

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