UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on Israel and the Palestinians to make good will gestures toward each other in order to rebuild the kind of trust and confidence that can bring about "genuine and substantive negotiations to resolve core issues."
Speaking during the keynote address of the Herzliya Conference, Ban stated that Israel had a credible partner for peace in the Palestinian Authority that was busy building the institutions for a functional democracy in a future Palestinian state. He complained that "politics are not keeping pace with facts on the ground."
Ban stated that Israel continues to build illegal settlements "sometimes in the most precarious positions for peace."
The UN chief acknowledged that Israel "has legitimate security concerns." He stated that in order for negotiations to succeed, the Palestinians must engage seriously on the issue of security, and Israel must engage seriously on the issue of territory.
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