UN Security Council
UN Security CouncilReuters

A campaign by Arab states to block Israel's bid for a Security Council seat has gained support weeks ahead of a scheduled UN vote, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of foreign affairs said Thursday.

"We are doing everything possible to convince as many countries as possible to block the vote on Israel's bid for a seat at the Security Council," Riyad al-Maliki told reporters in Riyadh ahead of the Arab Summit this weekend, according to AFP.

"We need to secure the one-third vote necessary for a veto, and we believe we can, as Arab and Islamic states," he added.

Maliki said the Palestinian effort to block the vote had also received significant support from European allies.

Israel, Germany and Belgium are in the running for two coveted spots at the Security Council, the UN's most powerful branch.

"A country that violates international laws and conventions, that violates UN resolutions and principles, cannot sit down to dictate the fate of security and peace around the world," Maliki said of Israel.

"This is a clear violation of these principles and we must work to stop their plans. We need to make sure there are no surprises," he added.

The 193 members of the UN General Assembly are scheduled to vote on the seats in June.

Israel had been quietly working behind the scenes for more than a year in an effort to win a seat on the 15-nation council in the upcoming elections in June, but a report earlier last month indicated that it had decided to abandon the quest as it did not manage to muster up the necessary majority.

Germany last month rejected claims that it violated a supposed decades-old agreement to let Israel run unopposed for a seat on the Security Council, after pro-Israel activists in the United States accused Berlin of not honoring an agreement struck almost 20 years ago when the Jewish state joined the Western European and Others (WEOG) regional group at the UN.

"It's always been the case in the past that there are different candidacies," said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, adding, "We do not run against anyone. We are running for a seat at the Security Council.”