Palestinians to UN: Stop 2 big Israeli settlements

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A West Bank official says the Palestinians will ask the U.N. Security Council to halt two massive Israeli settlement projects that he warns will destroy last hopes for a Mideast peace deal.

For now, Israel is advancing both projects, E-1 and Givat Hamatos, with some 7,500 apartments. The construction would cut off east Jerusalem, the intended Palestinian capital, from the West Bank. Israel revived plans for E-1 last week, after the U.N. recognized a state of Palestine in lands Israel occupied in 1967.

Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Wednesday the Palestinians are asking the Security Council to block construction because otherwise "the idea of peace ... will disappear."

He says the U.S. must halt construction itself if it wants to avoid casting a veto at the council, as in 2011.

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