Palestinians press forward with UN anti-settlement vote

After emergency meeting, PLO decides unanimously to go ahead with vote on UNSC resolution that would condemn settlements in West Bank as "illegal," despite stiff US opposition.

Abbas, Fayyad at Bethlehem mass 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Abbas, Fayyad at Bethlehem mass 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
The Palestinian leadership was pressing forward Friday with a UN resolution that would condemn settlements in the West Bank as "illegal," despite stiff American opposition.
The PLO executive committee met and decided unanimously to push forward with the vote.
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The Obama administration opposes a vote on the matter, saying it doesn't want the UN's most powerful body to intervene. It argues that a vote will only complicate efforts to resume stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the leader spoke with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton earlier and informed her that there has been no change in the Palestinian position.
On Thursday,the US and the Palestinian Authority appeared to be on a collision course regarding PA insistence – over US objections – on bringing the resolution.
Following a lengthy phone call between US President Barack Obama and Abbas, the PA leader called an emergency meeting of the PLO and Fatah leaderships in Ramallah, Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced.
Sources in Ramallah said the phone conversation had dealt with the PA’s plan to seek a Security Council resolution condemning construction in the settlements.
Abbas rejected Washington’s demand not to take the matter to a vote in the council, they said.
Obama made it clear to Abbas that the US would veto such a resolution, so as not to jeopardize efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the sources said.
A week ago, US Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Security Council was not the right place to address these issues.
Herb Keinon, Khaled Abu Toameh and Jordana Horn contributed to this report