Last Updated: Sat Dec 31, 2011 21:15 pm (KSA) 18:15 pm (GMT)

Palestinians say to seek U.N., Arab League talks on settlement

A Palestinian hurls stones at Israeli soldiers during clashes between Palestinian villagers and Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Yetzhar, in the West Bank village of Asira al-Qibilya, near Nablus. (Reuters)
A Palestinian hurls stones at Israeli soldiers during clashes between Palestinian villagers and Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Yetzhar, in the West Bank village of Asira al-Qibilya, near Nablus. (Reuters)

Palestinian leaders decided on Saturday to seek sessions of the U.N. Security Council and the Arab League, hoping for action to halt Israeli settlement.

A statement by the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization said continued settlement growth in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem was liable “to destroy all chances of a peace process and the two-state solution.”

“We shall go to the Security Council to discuss (it),” said the statement, read by PLO Secretary General Yasser Abed Rabbo. “We shall invite the Arab League at the highest level to follow up on this matter.”

It did not say when it hoped the bodies would convene.

The international peacemaking Quartet of the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union has given the parties until January 26 to submit comprehensive proposals on territory and security.

Earlier this month Britain, France, Germany and Portugal led condemnation by Security Council members of increased settlement construction in the occupied territories and growing attacks by settlers on Palestinians.

That enraged Israel, which said the Europeans were in danger of making themselves “irrelevant.”

Israeli construction of settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank is one of the thorniest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, scuppering direct negotiations between the sides that began in September 2010 and ground to a halt shortly afterwards when a 10-month Israeli settlement freeze ended.

Israel declined to renew the freeze and the Palestinians say they will not hold talks while settlement construction continues.

Efforts by the Quartet to bring the parties back to the table have so far failed.

The Palestinians have sought U.N. censure over settlements before, most recently in February when the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli construction in the occupied territory.

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