NEW YORK: The President, Mr Mahmoud Abbas said he is sticking to his plan to seek full United Nations membership for a Palestinian state although "all hell has broken out" over the move opposed by the United States and Israel.
Mr Abbas, speaking en route to the UN General Assembly in New York, said he had been told by the United States and European governments that "matters will be bad" after a move which reflects his frustration with a moribund peace process.
"To what extent, we will know later on," said Mr Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority which depends on international financial aid for its survival in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The United States and Israel wanted to keep the peace process restricted to "a bilateral dialogue" overseen from afar by Washington, he said. But all the while this dialogue had failed, prompting the UN membership move.
"We decided to take this step and all hell has broken out against us," he told reporters on his flight to New York.
Mr Abbas has said he will present the request for full UN membership during his speech to the General Assembly on Friday.
However, the United States has said it will block the Palestinian bid for full UN membership on the grounds that only a resumption of a two-decade old negotiation process can advance the cause of peace.
Some members of the Israeli government are calling for tough retaliation against a Palestinian move they say aims to isolate Israel. Some US politicians have said they will try to cut American aid to the Palestinians, totaling some $500 million a year, if they refuse to back down.
The PA already faces a financial crisis this year because of a shortfall in aid from Arab states.