Senior Israeli official downplays Palestinians' statehood bid, says it's meaningless

Associated Press

JERUSALEM - Israel's deputy foreign minister is downplaying the Palestinians' statehood bid at the United Nations, saying it's a "virtual move without any substance" that could boomerang against them.

Danny Ayalon told Army Radio on Thursday that the measure was also "serious violation" of peace accords between the two sides.

He says Israel will consequently feel itself "less bound" by those agreements, and could respond by withholding funds or security co-operation from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinians will ask the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday to recognize a non-member state of Palestine. The measure is likely to be approved because the Palestinians have overwhelming support in the assembly.

The move comes a year after the Palestinians failed to get the Security Council to recognize "Palestine" as a full-fledged U.N. member.

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