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Palestinians Hope for Settlement Curb if Peace Talks Resume

FILE - Palestinian laborers work at a construction site in a new housing project in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem, Feb. 7, 2017.

A senior Palestinian official says he "hopes" Israel will halt settlement construction if U.S.-led peace talks resume, but stopped short of making it a condition.

Saeb Erekat spoke Sunday in Jordan after meeting with the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt, ahead of a Mideast trip next week by President Donald Trump.

Trump says he wants to broker an Israeli-Palestinian deal.

The Palestinians seek a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967. Israel has built settlements on war-won lands, now home to 600,000 Israelis.

In recent years, the Palestinians refused to resume talks without a settlement curb.

Asked about linking negotiations to a settlement freeze, Erekat said "no one stands to lose more in the absence of peace and negotiations" than Palestinians.