Israel says it's urgent to resume Mideast talks

Associated Press
Israeli soldiers examine a crater, created by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel near the Israeli Gaza border, early Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. The Israeli military says five projectiles were fired at Israel, lightly injuring one man. The Israeli military says it has struck Gaza weapons manufacturing sites following the mortar fire toward Israel. No one was wounded in the Israeli retaliation. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

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Israel's defense minister says "it's an urgent necessity" for his country and the Palestinians to find a way to resume negotiations on core issues leading to a peace deal.

Ehud Barak said he hopes a formula that moves beyond the current stalemate "will be found in coming few weeks in order to keep moving forward."

The Palestinians have said they won't negotiate without a freeze of Jewish settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Barak said the problem is not the rate of construction, it's about reducing suspicions on both sides and restoring trust.

He said he asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a meeting Thursday to use the U.N.'s influence to help in relaunching talks.

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