US President Barack Obama warned the Palestinians of "repercussions" if they pushed for a United Nations Security Council vote against Jewish settlements, a Palestinian official said Friday.
"President Obama threatened on Thursday night to take measures against the Palestinian Authority if it insists on going to the Security Council to condemn Israeli settlement activity, and demand that it be stopped," the senior Palestinian official told AFP.
However, despite Obama's warning, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday turned down Washington's request to withdraw a UN Security Council resolution demanding Israel halt settlement expansion.
The decision was made unanimously during a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive and the central committee of Abbas' Fatah movement, convened to discuss US President Barack Obama's appeal to Abbas on Thursday.
"The Palestinian leadership has decided to go on to the UN.Security Council to pressure Israel to halt settlement activities. The decision was taken despite American pressure," said Wasel Abu Yousef, a PLO executive member.
Obama's remarks came during an hour-long telephone conversation with Abbas late Thursday, in which the US leader tried to dissuade Abbas from supporting a UN Security Council vote due to take place later Friday.
During the call, Obama told Abbas: "There will be repercussions for Palestinian-American relations if you continue your attempts to go to the Security Council and ignore our requests in this matter, especially as we suggested other alternatives."
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Friday that if the US would veto the condemnation of settlement construction it would "prove that the US supports Israel's illegal moves in opposition to the opinion of 130 UN member states."