Palestinians push for UN membership and against settlements

The Palestinians say they are sounding out members of the U.N. Security Council on a new resolution demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building and about prospects for becoming a full member of the United Nations.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Thursday he has met about half the 15-member council in the last 10 days and expects to meet the rest in the next week. He said he will then report back to the Arab ministerial committee which will decide on next steps.

Mansour announced the new Palestinian initiative ahead of an informal Security Council meeting Friday on "Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution."

The scheduled speakers include representatives from two Israeli human rights groups, Peace Now and B'Tselem, and Americans for Peace Now.