Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor
Israel's UN Ambassador Ron ProsorReuters

The vote on Thursday to grant the Palestinian Authority an upgraded status at the United Nations is "one-sided" and "pushes peace backward," Israel said.

Israel's UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, called the resolution "so one-sided it doesn't advance peace, it pushes it backward."

Prosor spoke shortly before the UN passed the proposal, with 138 nations voting in favor of it, nine voting against and 41 opposing.

In a fiercely worded speech opposing the UN General Assembly resolution, Prosor said that being made a non-member observer state "will not confer statehood."

Prosor, who spoke after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said that the largely symbolic boost to his bid for full recognition as an independent neighbor of Israel will in fact "place further obstacles and preconditions to negotiations and peace."

He condemned what he said was the PA’s refusal to negotiate peacefully or recognize Israel.

"The world waits for President Abbas to speak the truth that peace can only be achieved through negotiations by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. It waits for him to tell them that peace must also address Israel's security needs and end the conflict once and for all," he said.

"As long as President Abbas prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he prefers to travel to New York for UN resolutions, rather than travel to Jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace will be out of reach," said Prosor.

He also tore into what he said was Abbas' weakness, with the rival Hamas group ruling over Gaza, "40 percent of the territory he claims to represent."

The UN vote "will make a negotiated peace settlement less likely, as Palestinians continue to harden their positions," Prosor said, "and unfortunately, it will raise expectations that cannot be met."

Before Prosor, Abbas took the stage and launched his usual attack on Israel, accusing the Jewish State of attacking PA Arabs and carrying out ethnic cleansing.

"We have heard and you too have heard specifically over the past months the incessant flood of Israeli threats in response to our peaceful, political and diplomatic endeavor for Palestine to acquire non-member observer state in the United Nations,” said Abbas. “And, you have surely witnessed how some of these threats have been carried out in a barbaric and horrific manner just days ago in the Gaza Strip.

“We have not heard one word from any Israeli official expressing any sincere concern to save the peace process. On the contrary, our people have witnessed, and continue to witness, an unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in occupied east Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement."

Abbas claimed that "We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is Israel; rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of the state that must now achieve its independence, and that is Palestine. We did not come here to add further complications to the peace process, which Israel's policies have thrown into the intensive care unit; rather we came to launch a final serious attempt to achieve peace. Our endeavor is not aimed at terminating what remains of the negotiations process, which has lost its objective and credibility, but rather aimed at trying to breathe new life into the negotiations and at setting a solid foundation for it based on the terms of reference of the relevant international resolutions in order for the negotiations to succeed."