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Quartet Calls on Israel and Palestine to Resume Peace Negotiations

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The United Nations and its diplomatic partners known as the "Qurtet" today urged Israel and Plaestine to resume peace negotiations without delay.

The Quartet also called on both parties to refrain from provocative actions.

The Quartet is the diplomatic grouping bringing together the UN with the European Union, Russia and the United States.

During informal consultations in New York, the Quartet along with Quartet Representative Tony Blair, discussed the grave situation in Gaza and southern Israel.

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Home in Balata refugee camp demolished during the second Intifada. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The group expressed its serious concern for the recent escalation and called for calm.

"The situation in Gaza is yet again proving its unsustainability." -Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

Mr. Ban is gravely concerned at the latest escalation between Gaza and Israel, and once again civilians are paying a terrible price.

He says rocket attacks out of Gaza against Israeli civilian areas are unacceptable and must stop immediately.

"I reiterate my call on Israel to exercise maximum restraint." -Mr. Ban

During its meeting, the Quartet assessed developments since its statement of 23 September, in which it appealed to the Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct bilateral negotiations without delays or preconditions.

In that statement, the Quartet also proposed a series of steps and a timetable with the aim of reaching a lasting Middle East peace agreement by the end of 2012.

The Quartet is set to meet again next month in D.C.

The Quartet re-affirms that the current situation in Gaza, including the humanitarian and human rights situation of the civilian population, is unsustainable, unacceptable.

The Quartet recognizes that Israel has legitimate security concerns that must continue to be safeguarded, and believes efforts to maintain security while enabling movement and access for Palestinian people and goods are critical.

The Quartet supports the proximity talks toward the resumption, without pre-conditions, of direct bilateral negotiations that resolve all final status issues as previously agreed by the parties. The Quartet believes these negotiations should lead to a settlement, negotiated between the parties within 24 months, that ends the occupation which began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous.

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