Palestinians aiming to join dozens of international bodies, agreements

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinians will attempt to join 60 United Nations bodies and international agreements under a plan adopted by the PLO’s central council.

The council adopted the plan during a meeting Sunday in Ramallah following confirmation that Israel has frozen plans for 19 Palestinian construction projects in the West Bank.

An unnamed Israeli official told the French news agency AFP that the decision to freeze the housing projects came after the Palestinian Authority last month applied to join 15 international organizations and treaties. The applications were filed after Israel missed a deadline to free a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners as part of the current U.S.-backed peace negotiations.

Israel suspended its participation in the negotiations last week after the Fatah party-led P.A. signed a unity agreement with Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.

The peace negotiations, which started last summer, are scheduled to end on Tuesday.

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