The United States would "seriously consider abstaining" should the United Nations Security Council pass a resolution condemning Israel's housing construction in East Jerusalem, the BBC reported on Sunday.

That message was passed during a meeting between a senior U.S. official and Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad Bin Jasim Al Thani, a diplomatic source told the BBC.

Sheikh Hamad reportedly asked a senior official from the Obama administration whether the U.S. would promise not to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israel's settlement activity in East Jerusalem.

The U.S. official reportedly told Hamad in response that the current U.S. position was that it would "seriously consider abstention", according to the BBC.

The White House has not yet responded to Haaretz's request for clarification.

Tensions between Israel and the U.S. flared earlier this month when Jerusalem announced its approval of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region.

The U.S. termed the timing of the announcement an "insult," and both sides have declared that the incident would not harm the close relations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year declared a temporary 10-month settlement halt in the West Bank, but would not include East Jerusalem in that freeze. Netanyahu and members of his coalition have repeatedly declared that construction in Jerusalem would continue.