Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warned yesterday that the exodus of Jews from the Soviet Union could be curtailed if Israel continues to settle the emigres in the disputed occupied territories.

Gorbachev and President Bush expressed disapproval of the settlements in their joint White House news conference at the conclusion of the summit. Gorbachev said the Soviet Union "is now being bombarded by a lot of criticism from Arab countries" about the settlements, and recalled recent meetings with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Hafez Assad at which they raised the matter "in acute terms."

Gorbachev said either "our concern will be heeded in Israel. . . or else we must give further thought to it in terms of what we can do with issuing permits for exit." He added that "some people" are raising the issue in the Soviet Union, suggesting that if Israel does not respond, Moscow should "postpone issuing permits for exit, to put it off."

"I hope they {the Israelis} would heed what the two presidents strongly advise them," Gorbachev said.

Bush reaffirmed U.S. opposition to settlements in the occupied territories, and said he would continue to "try to persuade the government of Israel that it is counterproductive to go forward with additional settlements in these territories."

The Gorbachev warning brought protests from Israel and from American Jewish groups. Israel maintains that it is not directing Soviet Jews to the West Bank and Gaza, and that only a few hundred emigres have settled there.

"The Arab states are shamefully using that insignificant number to mount a general offensive against the very concept of Jewish immigration to Israel and are using the Soviet Jewish immigration as an excuse," said Israeli Embassy spokesman Ruth Yaron.

In Israel, Absorption Minister Yitzhak Peretz invited Gorbachev to visit the occupied territories to see for himself, but the Soviet president declined, saying in Minneapolis, "the time has not yet come to go there."

The size of the immigration to East Jerusalem -- which Israel does not consider an occupied territory but which the United States and the Soviet Union view as disputed land -- is larger than to other areas. When Bush expressed opposition to East Jerusalem settlements earlier this year, it touched off sharp protests from Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Soviet Jewish emigration is at record levels. In the first four months of this year, 40,000 Soviet Jews have emigrated to Israel, compared to 12,700 in all of last year. Israel expects to receive 100,000 Soviet Jews this year, and Arab states have expressed fear that the new settlers will be directed to the occupied territories.

Secretary of State James A. Baker III said yesterday that Soviets had made similar comments to U.S. officials recently at a meeting in Moscow. Baker said, "The United States openly and unconditionally supports the concept of the emigration of Soviet Jews," while opposing new or expanded settlements in the occupied territories. "We haven't linked the two in the way that President Gorbachev was suggesting," he said.

Two American Jewish groups, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and the American Jewish Committee, criticized the Gorbachev statement. "Truth is, only a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands who have arrived in Israel recently have settled in the occupied territories, and not one Palestinian has been replaced," said Sholom D. Comay, president of the American Jewish Committee. "We add the hope that President Bush's silence on hearing the Soviet leader's threat does not mean any weakening of the administration's resolve. . . . "

Bush was also asked to explain the U.S. veto of a United Nations Security Council initiative that would have dispatched a fact-finding team to the occupied territories to report on the Palestinian uprising. Bush said he would favor sending a representative of U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar to the region instead. Bush is scheduled to meet with the secretary general today. Bush said the issue was "compounded" by the "outrageous" abortive guerrilla attack by a Palestine Liberation Organization faction last week on Israel's Mediterranean beaches.