UN: Israel and Palestinians still far apart

By the Associated Press | September 27, 2011 | 11:35 AM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. political chief says Israel and the Palestinians remain far apart on reaching a peace accord but insists "now is time for everyone to give diplomacy a chance."

B. Lynn Pascoe says "the passions of last week" — when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged leaders to support his bid for U.N. membership and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposed it without a negotiated settlement — demonstrates the divide.

But he told the Security Council at its monthly Mideast briefing Tuesday that there are now building blocks in place that could help negotiations.

Pascoe said these include a timetable by the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.N., U.S., EU and Russia — calling for negotiations to resume in a month , and a final settlement by the end of 2012.