Erekat to ask UNSC to declare all settlements illegal

Palestinian negotiator set to request UN demand to halt all settlement construction; hopes to win support of 14 of 15 council members.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 17, 2011 13:05
1 minute read.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat

Saeb Erekat 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

The chief Palestinian negotiator said the Palestinians expect to ask the UN Security Council this week to declare settlements illegal and demand a halt to their construction.

Saeb Erekat said the request is likely to be submitted by Wednesday. On that day, the Security Council will hold its monthly meeting on Mideast issues.

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“The Israeli government has chosen settlements over peace,” he claimed. “They bear responsibility for the failure of the peace process; this policy will lead to more violence, chaos, extremism and bloodshed.”

Erekat said 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. The PA envoy to the UN, Riad Mansour, is expected to hold these consultations on Monday with other representatives in New York to set a date for presenting the draft resolution to the council, Erekat had said Sunday.

The chief negotiator said US officials urged the Palestinians not to go to the Security Council over settlements. He stated that he does not know whether the US will veto the settlement resolution. He urged the Obama administration not to do so.

“The Americans don’t want us to present anything to the Security Council,” Erekat said. “But we made it clear to them that, for us, the Security Council was a gate to international legitimacy.”

US-brokered peace talks have collapsed over the settlements issue.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.


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