PA asks US help in halting West Bank settlement expansion project
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday he will ask visiting American envoys to help stop the expansion of the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim, warning that the planned construction by Israel would cut off East Jerusalem.
The envoys, National Security Council official Elliott Abrams and David Welch, assistant secretary of state for the Near East, asked israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Wednesday about the planned expansion of the settlement. Israel intends to set up 3,500 housing units in Ma'aleh Adumim, which is located five kilometers east of Jerusalem.
According to The AP, Erekat said the Ma'aleh Adumim expansion would top his agenda in talks later Thursday with Abrams and Welch. "The most important thing at this stage is to ... stop settlement activities," Erekat stressed.