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Abbas seeks to re-submit statehood bid to UN

The US has veto power as one of the council’s five permanent members & has pledged to block the move.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas signs a request to join 15 United Nations agencies at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 1 April, 2014, in a move that could derail a US push to revive faltering peace talks with Israel. Picture: AFP.

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday he was discussing with Jordan plans to resubmit to the United Nations Security Council a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state that failed to win enough votes last week.

Jordan remains a member of the Security Council while several other countries with revolving membership were replaced over the New Year.

The Palestinians hope these states will be more sympathetic to their resolution demanding an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and independence by 2017, although the veto-wielding United States would be all but certain to vote 'No' again, as it did on 30 December.

"We didn't fail, the UN Security Council failed us. We'll go again to the Security Council, why not? Perhaps after a week," Abbas told officials at a cultural conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian seat of self-rule government.

"We are studying it, and we will study this with our allies and especially Jordan ... to submit the resolution again, a third time or even a fourth time."

In the UN vote on Tuesday, the Palestinian draft received eight votes in favour, including France, Russia and China, two against and five abstentions, among them Britain. Australia joined the United States in voting against the measure.

But any resubmission would face almost certain failure. The US has veto power as one of the council's five permanent members and has pledged to block Abbas's plan, calling it one-sided and unproductive.

Abbas signed onto 20 international conventions the next day, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, giving the court jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian lands and opening up an unprecedented confrontation between the veteran peace negotiator and Israel.

In retaliation for the move to the ICC, Israel announced on Saturday that it would withhold 500 million shekels (£82 million) in monthly tax funds that it collects on the Palestinians' behalf, in a blow to Abbas's cash-strapped government.

"Now there are sanctions, that's fine. There's an escalation, that's fine ... but we're pushing forward," Abbas said.