January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council will hold an open session next week to discuss Israeli settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territories, a Palestinian envoy said Thursday.

The council's member states will present their stances regarding the settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Riad Mansour, Palestinian UN observer, told Voice of Palestine Radio.

Prior to the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, the Palestinian leadership intensified its efforts "to explain the gravity of settlement construction as the main obstacle to the resumption of (peace) talks between Israel and the Palestinian side," Mansour added.

Arab states and the Non-Aligned Movement support the Palestinian efforts, Mansour noted.

On Wednesday, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos briefed the council's members at a closed meeting on her concerns about the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.

"I also spoke about zoning and planning regulations on Area C," Amos told reporters after the briefing. She was referring to the over 60 percent of the West Bank where Israel retains control over security, planning and building. About 150,000 Palestinians live there.

The last wave of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians was in 2010 and lasted only four weeks. The Palestinians withdrew in protest of renewed settlement building in the West Bank.

In an attempt to renew talks, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held three "exploratory" meetings in Amman this month, but failed to make breakthrough on the topics of the negotiations: borders and security. A fourth meeting is set for Jan. 25, sponsored by the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators, which includes the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

The Palestinian vision about borders was boosted Tuesday when European Union diplomats drafted a report accusing Israel of " systematically undermining the Palestinian presence" in Jerusalem, the city that the Palestinians want its eastern part as a future capital.


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