Arab nations let the General Assembly recess its autumn session Friday without making their annual challenge of Israel's membership.

U.N. officials said privately that the Arabs apparently decided to drop the challenge because it would have complicated too many delicate diplomatic arrangements related to the Persian Gulf crisis.At Washington's urging, Israel has refrained from direct involvement in the crisis, while the United States has accommodated its moderate Arab allies in the anti-Iraq alliance by voting in favor of several Security Council resolutions critical of Israel.

On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a referendum urging Israel to halt deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza. It also calls on the United Nations to monitor the safety of Palestinians there.

It was the third time in two months Washington has failed to exercise its veto powers to shield Israel.

In Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy on Friday said the United States had succumbed to fears of weakening the opposition to Iraqi President Saddan Hussein.

"There is a weakness among the Americans that is brought about by America's dependency on the anti-Saddam coalition and by the American obsession that if it is objective and stands by Israel, the coalition is liable to be weakened," Levy told Israel army radio.

Since 1982, Arab nations have made an annual attempt to oust Israel by challenging its right to sit in the General Assembly among other "peace-loving states."