Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, attends the Christmas Midnight Mass in Saint Catherine's Church at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, West Bank Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. (Musa Al Shaer/Pool Photo via AP)
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The Palestinian president said Tuesday that he hopes an upcoming Mideast conference in France will set a timetable for independence after the U.N. delivered a harsh rebuke over the construction of Israeli settlements in lands claimed by the Palestinians.Israel is meanwhile advancing plans for thousands of new homes in East Jerusalem despite the U.N. Security Council resolution. The United States broke with past practice and allowed the Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation" of international law.Abbas has refused unless Israel first ends settlement construction.Despite the U.N. resolution condemning settlements, Jerusalem Municipality is set to approve thousands of new housing units in the eastern sector of the city this week.
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