Erekat sends letter to US consul demanding halt in settlement construction

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat said Saturday that he had sent a letter to US consul general in Jerusalem, Jacob Walles, calling for Israel to quickly cease all settlement construction in the West Bank. "We don't want any games this time in terms of settlement construction," Erekat said. The road map quickly foundered after it was accepted by both sides since neither took concrete steps to fulfill their commitments. As part of the expected renewal of peace negotiations after the Annapolis conference, Israel reportedly wants to be allowed to continue building in large settlement blocs that it hopes to keep in a final peace agreement. The Palestinians want Israel to withdraw from all territory it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, including West Bank land on which almost 270,000 Jewish settlers live.