While the Palestinians continue to express their anger over the US veto against a UN vote condemning Israel's settlement construction policy, new details have surfaced regarding the pre-veto discussions. Fatah elements claimed Saturday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threatened to halt financial aid should the Palestinian Authority not withdraw its draft from the Security Council's agenda. Nevertheless, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that the PA will not boycott the US.
A senior Fatah element told the Palestinian news agency Sama that Clinton threatened Abbas on Friday to cancel US aid. According to the source, US President Barack Obama told Abbas on Thursday night that no other American president has promoted the Palestinian issue more vigorously .
Following Yasser Abed Rabbo's statements against the US and his pledge to take the matter up to the General Assembly, Abbas stressed Saturday that the Palestinians do not wish to boycott the US administration but that they were interested in maintaining their rights and protecting their national interest.
The Palestinian president described the effort to gain the support of 14 members of the Security Council as a "diplomatic success."
Security Council meeting on Friday (Photo: AFP)
Meanwhile, the US administration has taken a series of precautionary steps for fear their envoys in the region will be targeted. The US Consulate in Jerusalem has banned US representatives from entering Jericho, driving on West Bank roads and visiting the Allenby Border Crossing in the next three days.
A US source said that no violence targeting US envoys in the West Bank has been recorded as of yet.
Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah central committee, called for a day of rage to be held in the West Bank next Friday and said the veto had revealed the US's true face.
Palestinian outrage was also noted on the streets. "Hateful Obama, the settlements won't last," hundreds of Palestinians chanted during a protest in Nablus. Several hundred demonstrators marched towards the separation fence in the Tulkarem area and hurled stones at IDF soldiers. A man was arrested.
Dozens in Tel Aviv also protested the US veto and carried signs reading "Apartheid Israel" "Stop the US support of the occupation" and "veto the settlements, choose justice."
Roni Barken, an activist and member of the international movement to boycott Israel said that the veto is "part of a longtime US policy providing Israel and its criminal policy with absolute support". He added, "The protest attracts the world's attention and aimes to pressure the US into aligning itself with international law and consensus."
Boaz Fyler contributed to this report
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