Palestine deserves full membership and recognition as a state at the United Nations, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, launching a searing attack on Israeli policy.
Abbas delivered his address ahead of a ceremony to raise the Palestinian flag at the world body for the first time, alongside those of the UN's 193 member states.
"Palestine, which is an observer state in the United Nations, deserves full recognition and full membership," he said.
Abbas appealed to "those countries that have not yet recognized the state of Palestine yet, to do so."
The General Assembly voted September 10 to allow the flags of Palestine and the Vatican -- both have observer status -- to be raised at the United Nations.
The resolution was backed by 119 countries, with 45 abstentions and eight votes against, including Australia, Israel and the United States.
Abbas told the General Assembly that Israel's refusal to commit to past agreements and release Palestinian prisoners, and continued Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and occupied east Jerusalem, was sapping Palestinian hopes of ever achieving an independent state.
"They leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them," he said.
"We cannot continue to be bound by these signed agreements with Israel and Israel must assume fully all its responsibilities as an occupying power."
Abbas said Palestinian patience "has come to an end" and described the current situation as "unsustainable."
"We shall not resort to violence, we shall resort to peace and legal means to implement that," the Palestinian leader said.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online.