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Israel threatens to 'topple' Abbas if Palestinians win statehood - report

Israel threatens to 'topple' Abbas if Palestinians win statehood - report
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has reportedly proposed “toppling” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if a Palestinian bid for state observer status is approved by the UN later this month. It is also allegedly considering annulling the Oslo Peace Accords.

“Toppling Abbas’s regime would be the only option in this case. Any other option would mean waving a white flag and admitting the failure of the Israeli leadership to deal with the challenge,” the Foreign Ministry position paper obtained by AFP says.

The document warns of "grave consequences," including unspecified "unilateral Israeli responses.” It also says that Israel "must extract a high price from Abbas," and that receiving state status at the UN "would be considered a crossing of a red line."

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is reportedly expected to endorse the position paper and would then present it to the Israeli officials charged with formulating Israel’s response to the Palestinian bid.

A senior Israeli official on Wednesday told AFP that Israel is also considering annulling part or all of the 1993 Oslo Accords in response to the UN bid.

"The claim is that the Palestinians' appeal to the UN is such a fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords that it nullifies them. And if they are nullified, we are not committed to them either. The Oslo agreement specifically says that every dispute will be resolved through direct negotiations, not by going to a third party," the official said on condition of anonymity.

AP also obtained a list of diplomatic talking points where it is said that a decision to upgrade Palestinian observer status at the UN would "give Israel the right to reconsider and nullify" its 1990s interim agreements with the Palestinians.

Earlier Lieberman has already expressed his view that Abbas’s Palestinian Authority should be dismantled if the UN bid succeeds.

“If the Palestinians go to the UN General Assembly with a new unilateral initiative, they must know they will be subject to severe measures by Israel and the United States,” Israel’s Channel 10 quoted Lieberman as saying on October 24. “They are definitively destroying the chances of peace talks.”

“If they persist with this project, I will ensure that the Palestinian Authority collapses,” he is quoted as saying.

The Oslo I Accord was created in 1993 in an attempt to resolve the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It was the first face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

The Accord allowed for the creation of a Palestinian interim self-government, the Palestinian National Authority, governing parts of the occupied West Bank and Gaza. The Accords also called for the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

In 1995, the Oslo I Accord was followed by the amended Oslo II, however neither promised Palestinian statehood.

The Palestinians are expected to present their bid for state observer status at the General Assembly on November 29, over opposition from the United States and Israel.

The bid comes slightly more than a year after the Palestinians failed to obtain full UN membership at the Security Council.

At the General Assembly all member nations have equal representation with no country having veto power.

The US and Israel keep insisting the Palestinians can win independence only through direct negotiations with Israel.