Riyad al-Maliki
Riyad al-MalikiReuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) will launch a bid to become a full member of the United Nations even though such a move will be blocked by the United States, the PA’s “foreign minister” said Tuesday, according to AFP.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the “state of Palestine” when it upgraded the PA’s UN observer status to non-member state.

Full membership would amount to international recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Any request to become a UN member-state must first be approved by the Security Council, where the United States has veto power, before it is endorsed by the General Assembly.

"We know that we are going to face a US veto but that won't prevent us from presenting our application" for full UN membership, PA “foreign minister” Riyad al-Maliki was quoted as having told journalists.

The PA will begin lobbying Security Council members with a view to presenting the application for UN membership in "a few weeks," said Maliki.

The comments came as the PA assumed chairmanship of the Group of 77 bloc of developing countries at the UN. In October, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of allowing the PA to chair the group in 2019, thus allowing the PA to act more like a full UN member state during meetings in 2019.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas addressed a ceremony at the UN marking the start of the PA’s chairmanship of the Group of 77 in which he leveled accusations at Israel.

Abbas charged that Israel was hampering development in the Middle East and renewed his commitment to a two-state solution.

"Israel's continued colonization and occupation of the state of Palestine undermines our development and capacity for cooperation, coordination and obstructs the cohesive future development of all peoples of the region," Abbas told the gathering, according to AFP.

Abbas claimed he was committed to a "peaceful solution that brings an end to the occupation and the realization of the independence of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side in peace and security with the state of Israel."

The PA has unilaterally joined international organizations in recent years as part of the diplomatic war it has been waging against Israel and its attempts to achieve international recognition as a state while bypassing peace talks.

Abbas has continuously rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s call to sit down for peace negotiations, and has instead chosen to impose preconditions on talks with Israel.

While the US is working on a peace plan for Israel and the PA, Abbas has rejected the plan before it has even been unveiled. The PA chairman has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.