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Palestinians to take settlement battle to UN

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By Associated Press

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinians will ask the U.N. Security Council in the coming days to condemn Israeli settlement construction, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday, part of a growing Palestinian campaign to rally international pressure against Israel with peace efforts deadlocked.

The move reflects growing Palestinian discontent with U.S. efforts to broker a peace agreement by next September. American-mediated talks have been stalled for more than three months, in large part because of disagreements over Israeli settlement construction on captured lands claimed by the Palestinians.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that shortly after the New Year the Palestinians' Arab allies would present a resolution that will "declare that the Israeli settlement building is illegal and must be stopped immediately."

Palestinian officials acknowledge that such moves will have little immediate impact on the ground. Instead, they say they want the world to send a tough message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom they believe is not serious about pursuing peace.


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