Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas sits in front of a picture of the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem's Old City during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 18, 2017. (AFP PHOTO)
RAMALLAH, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the Palestinians will return to the UN to seek full membership for the state of Palestine, in response to the U.S. decision on Jerusalem.
In opening remarks to the Palestinian leadership meeting Monday evening, Abbas once again rejected the U.S. mediation of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, while announcing a series of counter measures against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"We will not accept the U.S. as a mediator in the peace process and this American position must be met with several measures," he said, denouncing the U.S. for adopting "a Zionist approach."
"We will take legal, political and diplomatic actions against Trump's announcement of Jerusalem," Abbas said, highlighting that a special committee will be formed to look into relevant UN resolutions and formulate new ones.
Abbas also signed 22 agreements and international treaties to strengthen the legal status of the state of Palestine on a global scale.
Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership is returning to the UN General Assembly, after the U.S. vetoed Monday a resolution at the UN Security Council to reject Trump's decision on Jerusalem.
The U.S. vetoed the draft resolution, though 14 other members of the Security Council voted in favor.
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riad Malki said that the Palestinian Authority will resort to the UN General Assembly with a new draft resolution against the U.S. move under the "united for peace" article.
Abbas slammed the U.S. veto for undermining the international community and international law.
He reiterated that he wants East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine, pledging to preserve it as an open city for all religions.
Trump, breaking away from decades of U.S. policy of neutrality, announced on Dec. 6 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
This move has enraged the Palestinians and other Muslims across the world. At least six Palestinians have been killed in violent clashes in the past weeks with Israeli security forces during protests against the U.S. move.
Israel took over East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war, and declared the whole city of Jerusalem as Israel's eternal capital. But the Palestinians insist East Jerusalem should be the capital of their future independent state.