UNITED NATIONS  - President Mahmud Abbas sought a new super observer UN status for Palestinians on Thursday as he condemned Israel’s “catastrophic” settlements in the occupied territories.

One year after making an emotional bid for full membership of the United Nations, Abbas returned to the UN General Assembly to warn that Israel’s tactics were a sign that it “rejects the two-state solution.”

Abbas called on the United Nations Security Council to pass a binding resolution setting out a path to end the two-year deadlock in talks between the Middle East rivals.

The Palestinians’ bid for full membership of the United Nations has been blocked at the Security Council by the veto-wielding United States. This week, Abbas came back to New York with more modest ambitions.

Abbas said he would now seek to bolster the Palestinians existing observer status. He said he would seek a vote at the UN General Assembly in the coming months to approve Palestine as a “non-member state of the United Nations.”

As a permanent UN Security Council member, the United States can veto any resolution backing full membership for the Palestinians.

But no country can veto a resolution in the General Assembly, where an overwhelming majority of the 193 members states would back Abbas.

“We are confident that the vast majority of the countries of the world support our endeavor, aimed at salvaging the chances for a just peace,” Abbas said, speaking just ahead of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen for two years, with Abbas refusing talks while Israel continues to build new Jewish settlements or expand existing ones.

The United States condemns Israeli settlement building but protects its close ally from UN criticism.

“Developments over the past year have confirmed what we have persistently drawn attention to and warned of: the catastrophic danger of the racist Israeli settlement of our country, Palestine,” Abbas said, lashing out at “attacks by terrorist militias of Israeli settlers.”

“We are facing relentless waves of attacks against our people, our mosques, churches and monasteries, and our homes and schools,” he said.

“They are unleashing their venom against our trees, fields, crops and properties, and our people have become fixed targets for acts of killing and abuse with the complete collusion of the occupying forces and the Israeli government.”

Abbas said Israel’s tactics could only lead to the conclusion “that the Israeli government rejects the two-state solution.”

Abbas called on the Security Council to “urgently adopt a resolution comprising the basis and foundations for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that would serve as a binding reference and guide for all.”

The Palestinian leader said this was crucial “if the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, is to survive and if peace is to prevail in the land of peace.”