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Palestinians meet with Arab states over UN draft resolution

April 12, 2016 5:27 P.M. (Updated: April 12, 2016 10:21 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian leadership has started consulting with Arab nations on a draft resolution expected to be put before the UN Security Council later this month condemning Israeli settlement activity as illegal, a PLO official said Monday.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said the consultations were being overseen by Egypt and were aimed at finalizing the Palestinian draft resolution before its expected presentation at the UN headquarters by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

In a statement, Erekat called on the international community and UN Security Council Member States to uphold international law and oblige Israeli authorities to halt settlement activity.

The Palestinian Authority last week put the draft resolution into circulation among members of the council in preparation for Abbas’ visit to the UN headquarters in New York from April 21 to 23.

The resolution will be the first to directly condemn Israeli settlements as illegal under international law since the US vetoed a similar resolution in 2011.

The construction of Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land has long been considered a violation of international law by the UN, although Israel contests this and has yet to be held accountable by the international community.

In response to the draft resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said taking such measures in the international arena would push the possibility for negotiations further away and reduce the potential for future peace.

The resolution will mark the latest attempt by the Palestinian leadership to counter ongoing Israeli violations in the international arena, brought on in part by decades of failed negotiations.
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