Encouraging Israelis and Palestinians to “re-engage” in order to move the peace process forward is one of the professed goals of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he visits the region this week.

But since low-level talks began between the sides in Amman last month, a number of major obstacles have resurfaced, threatening to turn yet another round of peace talks into a dead-end. If he is to succeed in his mission, it is important for the UN chief to understand that despite two decades of negotiations, huge gaps still need to be bridged.

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