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Abbas Wants UN Security Council to Discuss Israeli Housing

Instructs PA's UN representative to request urgent meeting on Israeli settlements in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/11/2010, 5:44 PM / Last Update: 11/11/2010, 5:51 PM

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Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas instructed the permanent PA representative at the UN "to request an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council... to study the issue of settlements spreading through Jerusalem and [Judea and Samaria]," official PA news agency WAFA reported Wednesday.

The request refers to construction for Jews, and not to construction for Arabs, which the PA is carrying out at full throttle in order to create facts on the ground.

According to the Associated Press, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said the request was not connected to the PA's stated intention to ask the Security Council to recognize a PA state if negotiations with Israel fail.
 
The WAFA report did not say when the formal request would be forwarded to the Security Council. According to AP, the likely outcome of the move would be a nonbinding Security Council statement.
 
The PA may have chosen the timing of its announcement because of a hubbub over the announcement of plans for construction in Jerusalem, which has been the Jewish nation;s capital since the times of King David.
 
US President Barack Obama criticized Israel this week for announcing another stage in the approval process of 1,300 housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Homa. “This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations,” Obama said during a visit to Indonesia. “I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side making the extra effort involved to get a breakthrough.” 
 
Prof. Eitan Gilboa, an expert on the US, told Arutz Sheva that Obama appears to have "an obsession" with Israel.
 
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that the U.S. was "deeply disappointed" by the Israeli step. "This announcement is counterproductive for efforts to resume negotiations between the parties," she told PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad during a video conference between the two.