Israel

Israel Walks Back Threat to Topple Palestinian Leadership Over UN Statehood Bid

The bid will gain more significant support than the Israeli government anticipated

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After weeks of shrill warnings over Thursday's United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, Israel has backed away from threats to cancel the Oslo peace accords and topple the Palestinian leadership.

Israeli officials are now playing down any immediate sanctions against the Palestinians after it became clear that the request for statehood is likely to gather significant support, which has strengthened since the Israeli assault on Gaza. Several European countries, including France, Switzerland and Spain, will back the Palestinian move in part out of concern that failing to do so will weaken the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to the advantage of Hamas.