Palestinians urge US to block new Israeli settlement plans

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A senior negotiator says the Palestinian president has appealed to the U.S. to block plans by Israel to announce new settlement construction.

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said President Mahmoud Abbas voiced his plea at a late-night meeting with senior U.S. officials Thursday in West Bank.

Abbas "asked for U.S. intervention to stop the Israeli government from issuing new settlement decisions in order to save the peace process and the American efforts," Erekat said Friday.

An Israeli official said the government is expected to announce new settlement construction next week. Channel 2 TV reported the plan will include hundreds of new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem — captured territories claimed by the Palestinians.