A US -sponsored draft resolution that for the first time would have condemned the militant Islamic group Hamas, which controls Gaza, failed to win the required two-thirds majority in the U.N. General Assembly.
Palestinians had initially sought to thwart the U.S. move by presenting an amendment to the USA text to include a reference to United Nations resolutions that condemn Israeli settlements, call for negotiations on East Jerusalem and pledge support for the two-state solution.
Ahead of the vote, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley accused those who pushed for the two-thirds threshold of "double standards" and of trying to torpedo the resolution.
But the vote on the resolution to condemn Hamas was 87 in favour against 57 opposed, with 33 abstentions - a plurality but below the two-thirds requirement to adopt it.
She stressed that Hamas' charter "openly calls for the destruction of Israel" and cited a variety of "barbaric terrorist tactics" it has used including suicide bombers and thousands of rockets, flaming kites and balloons.
The United States changed its initial draft resolution to get backing from the 28-nation European Union, adding that it supports a comprehensive peace agreement "bearing in mind relevant United Nations resolutions". The ambassador for Saudi Arabia was fierce in his criticism of Israel.
Nabil Abu Rudeinah, Abbas's spokesman, said in a statement that the vote against the resolution "is a message to the American administration and Israel that all the conspiracies against the Palestinian leadership will not come to pass". "Israel has no respect for this organization of which it is a member".
In a statement early Friday, Hamas thanked the states that voted against the resolution and rebuked those who voted in favor.
The Palestinians have severed ties with the Trump administration since the decision a year ago to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel's capital.
"The draft condemnation of Hamas in the UN General Assembly received a sweeping majority by countries that stood against Hamas", he said. "The reality can not be avoided any longer: the UN is the headquarters of modern antisemitism and the people of the United States should rescind their support accordingly".
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon lamented after the vote that a decision to condemn Hamas had been "hijacked" by procedural votes and hailed the "broad support from the world" for condemning Hamas.
China and Russian Federation were among those voting the measure down.
"You should be ashamed of yourselves, wait until you have to deal with terrorism in your own countries", he told the chamber.
Haley wrote to ambassadors this week urging them to vote for the resolution, noting that every year the General Assembly adopts more than a dozen resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but "not one of these resolutions ever mentions Hamas or other militant groups in Gaza".
After the USA draft's failure, the UNGA voted 156-6 to adopt an Irish resolution that called for "the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East" on the basis of United Nations resolutions, specially the December 2016 measure.
Haley had been working with the European Union and other regional blocs to get the support for the USA resolution, which it did, Falk said.
"Our four countries will vote against the resolution".
Despite Riyadh's close ties to Washington, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mouallimi urged member states to reject the U.S. measure.
At one protest in Khan Younis, a town in southern half of the coastal enclave, hundreds of Palestinians marched through the streets, with many hoisting Palestinian flags.
Last month, the General Assembly - as part of a raft of anti-Israel resolutions - condemned the alleged "occupation" of the Golan Heights. The U.S. voted against the move, a change from its decision to abstain in 2017.