Dec 18, 2014 7:25 AM

Palestinian leader supports more talks on UN bid

The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he supports further negotiations over a draft resolution on ending Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands that was submitted to the U.N. Security Council for a possible vote.

Abbas told a Palestinian leadership meeting Thursday that "we will continue in our consultations with the brothers and friends through deliberations, which will take place at the United Nations."

The resolution, submitted Wednesday, calls for Israeli security forces to be withdrawn no later than the end of 2017 from territories captured during the 1967 Middle East War.

The Palestinians have been pressing for some sort of action in the U.N.'s most powerful body. Council member Jordan sponsored the resolution after a day of talks among Arab states.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land has condemned violence on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his annual Christmas message.

In a Thursday statement Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal said "we condemn the Gaza war and deplore its dramatic consequences: killing and destruction."

More than 2,100 Palestinians died in this summer's war between Israel and Islamic militants in the densely populated coastal strip.

But Twal also condemned Palestinian attacks, including the recent killing of four worshippers and an Israeli security man during morning prayers at a Jerusalem synagogue.

After two years of relative calm, 2014 saw a sharp spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence, including the Gaza war and clashes linked to rising tensions over a Jerusalem holy site that is sacred both to Jews and Muslims.


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