Abbas presses UN over West Bank settlements

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, has asked for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the building of Jewish settlements on occupied land.

Israel said on Monday it would go ahead with 1,300 apartments on land in and around East Jerusalem annexed by Israel after the 1967 Middle East war. Another 800 housing units were planned for the settlement of Ariel in the northern West Bank.

"Something must be done on the international level to halt settlement expansion," said a spokesman for Mr Abbas.