Israeli officials are downplaying the significance of a looming vote at the United Nations General Assembly on Palestinians' bid for recognition as a non-member state. The U.S. and Israel oppose the move, but some of their allies, including France and Spain, have said they would support it. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said proclaiming the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem to be "Palestine" would constitute a "serious violation" of peace accords, saying that a Palestinian state can only be established through negotiations with Israel, and that Israel might respond by withholding money or security cooperation the Palestinian Authority needs. "The Palestinians will come out the losers in the end," he said Thursday.
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