by Emad Drimly, Saud Abu Ramadan
RAMALLAH, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian authorities said Saturday that they are determined to pursue the Palestinian bid for a full United Nations membership despite Friday's failure to gain enough votes in the UN Security Council.
Palestinian officials said that they would soon declare their counter measures after the failure in the Security Council, however, the Palestinian leadership hasn't decided yet what would be the next steps until it review the situation with the Arab League.
Palestinian observers said that the Palestinian determination to pursue the bid for a full UN membership would keep challenging the United States and Israel that strongly opposed the statehood bid and insisted on an unconditioned resumption of the stalled Mideast peace process.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Sabe Erekat said Palestinians felt sorrow and regret for not gaining support of nine Security Council members. He told Xinhua that not having enough votes for a full membership "would complicate the peace process and harm the two- state solution."
"We are not going to give up, we will decide what will be the next step after the Palestinian leadership debate on it and discuss the situation with the Arab League," Erekat said.
Following a series of meetings, the U.N. Security Council said Friday that it was unable to offer the state of Palestine a full membership in the United Nations because the Palestinian leadership did not grasp enough support.
Palestinian sources said there had been heavy U.S. pressures that had apparently succeeded in blocking the voting in the Security Council.
However, a Palestinian official said the Palestinians may go directly to the UN General Assembly to gain the status of an observer state and then to apply again for a full membership of a Palestinian statehood in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.
According to observers, the Palestinians are confident that the United States won't be able to veto their bid if they apply to the UN General Assembly and ask for a membership of an observer state.
Although Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas said earlier in Tunisia that the Palestinians are determined to gain a full membership of a Palestinian state in the UN, observers said that Abbas doesn't have choices except for exerting more pressure on Israel and the U.S..
The efforts of the International Quartet for peace in the Middle East, which comprises the U.S., the UN, Russia and Europe, have also failed to convince the Palestinians and Israelis to resume peace talks that had been stalled for more than a year due to Israeli settlement construction.
The Palestinian authorities said they were tired of 18 years of peace negotiations with Israel as the latter had not halted settlement construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The Palestinian leadership recently threatened to dissolve the PNA which was established after the Oslo peace accord was signed in 1993.
Samer Anabtawi, a political science professor at al-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus, told Xinhua that dissolving the PNA and abandoning the peace talks "would be the natural outcome of the current situation after the Palestinians lost all the hopes to achieve a just and comprehensive peace."