Israel-Palestinian talks have reached "a delicate moment": UN official

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Jeffrey Feltman

The Israeli-Palestinian talks have reached "a delicate moment" according to the head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs.

In his briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday, Jeffrey Feltman said when intensive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations resumed earlier this year, tensions were  expected to be along the way.

Nobody, Mr. Feltman told the Council, predicted this would be an easy process.

"And indeed, four months since their resumption, the talks have reached a delicate moment. On the positive side, it appears that the negotiators have been engaging on substance and have gone some way towards narrowing their differences, notwithstanding the great difficulties that peace will entail. But strains have been growing dangerously between the parties, and these can and must be overcome. International engagement, which is critical, remains strong. US Secretary of State Kerry visited the region again for in-depth discussions with leaders on both sides."(29")

Mr. Feltman said the talks suffered a significant setback with a series of announcements of Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem following the agreed release of Palestinian prisoners in the second of four tranches.

Mr. Feltman said the UN has been following with growing concern what he called "these critical developments, especially the announcement on 13 November of plans for advancement of some 24,000 units"

He said this "cannot be reconciled with the goal of a negotiated two-state solution."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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