Canada is one of 25 countries that abstained from a United Nations vote on Palestinian membership.

On Friday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly backed a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member, with 143 out of 193 member states supporting the resolution.

Other countries that joined Canada in abstaining include the U.K. and Switzerland. The United States and Israel were among the nine countries that rejected the bid.

"Canada's position on questions relating to Israel and Palestine remains, and has always been, guided by our historic and unwavering commitment to a two-state solution," Global Affairs Canada said in a statement released Friday. "Canada has decided to abstain on the General Assembly resolution in response to efforts to prevent the realization of a two-state solution."

The statement blamed both Israeli and Gaza leadership for frustrating efforts for a two-state solution, saying the "prospects for a lasting peace are bleaker than ever."

"The (Benjamin) Netanyahu government has made clear, in its words and in its actions, that it rejects the two-state solution," Global Affairs Canada explained. "At the same time, Hamas currently controls areas in Gaza, an essential part of the territory of the future State of Palestine. Hamas continues to hold hostages, has yet to lay down its arms or end its violent opposition to the existence of Israel."

The matter will now go before the 15-member UN Security Council, where it is expected to be vetoed by the U.S. A similar resolution was vetoed by the U.S. in April.

Even if rejected by the Security Council, Palestinians will still earn a seat among UN members in the assembly hall as of September 2024, but they will not be granted a vote.

Palestinians have held non-member observer status in the UN General Assembly since 2012. They are represented by the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority also oversaw Gaza until 2007, when Hamas militants seized power of the Mediterranean territory following an earlier election victory. Hamas launched a bloody Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the current devastating war in Gaza.

"We believe there must be continued progress toward Palestinian self-determination," Global Affairs Canada said. "All Palestinians deserve to be led by a legitimate and representative government, without the participation of a terrorist organization."

Israel occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem following a 1967 war against its Arab neighbours. The UN has long promoted the vision of a separate Palestinian state and Israel existing within secure and recognized borders.

"It is clear we must urgently build a credible path to achieving the two-state solution, one that gives hope to both Palestinians and Israelis that they may live side by side in peace, security, and dignity," Global Affairs Canada said. "Canada is prepared to recognize the State of Palestine at the time most conducive to lasting peace, not necessarily as the last step along that path."

With files from Reuters