Palestinian Councils Call for U.S. Boycott

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Local Palestinian councils in east Jerusalem intend to boycott the U.S. over the Obama administration's veto of the U.N. Security Council resolution labeling Jewish "settlements" illegal.

The councils plan to boycott American-made goods, government officials, aid groups, journalists, and the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.

Senior Fatah official Hatem Abdel Kader, who served as the PA minister for Jerusalem affairs, told Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Tor that he has asked other Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to participate in the boycott.

Kader said they would enforce the boycott until the Obama issues a public apology for the veto and agrees to support the Palestinian position.

"We will cut our relationship with all American institutions," Kader said, including USAID - U.S. Agency for International Development - and we will not take help or money from them," he said, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, P.A. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said he is prepared to go to the Gaza Strip to discuss the formation of a Palestinian unity government with the Hamas leadership.

Fayyad also said he would forfeit U.S. aid based on political considerations. According to Fayyad, the Obama administration gave $223 million in 2010 toward the PA's deficit of $1.145 billion.

Last weekend, P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas said he does not support a U.S. boycott.

"It is not for our interest to boycott the U.S. administration," Abbas told a group of academics in Ramallah on Saturday, the English News reported.

"The Palestinian diplomacy [at the United Nations] achieved a great victory," Abbas said of the 14-1 vote by Security Council members to support the resolution.

Obama went to great lengths to offer incentives to the Palestinians in exchange for not bringing the vote before the Security Council. But Abbas turned down his offer.

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The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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