International mediators failed to reach a breakthrough in efforts to achieve a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, as the two sides on Monday reiterated the long-held positions that caused talks to break down over a year ago, dpa reported.
The envoys from the Middle East Quartet, comprised of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, met the officials separately in Jerusalem.
A Quartet statement said simply that the envoys "continued to encourage the parties to resume direct bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions" and "called upon the parties to create a conducive environment for restarting talks and urged the parties to refrain from provocative actions."
Efforts to revive direct talks have so far failed, as the Palestinians say Israel must first freeze settlement construction, and Israel insists on talks without preconditions.
Emerging from the a parley with former British Premier Tony Blair and other Quartet officials, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could not come about so long as Israel continues building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"There is no doubt about the fact that Israeli settlements and the two-state solution are mutually exclusive," Erekat said.
Palestinians would be ready to negotiate, but only once Israel freezes its constructions in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and accepts the lines that existed before the 1967 Middle East war as a clear term of reference to the talks.
Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt in the Six-Day War of 1967.
Israel did not issue any statement after the envoys met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's representative, Yitzhak Molcho.
But an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel was 'disappointed" the Palestinians would not heed the call of the Quartet to resume direct peace talks.
Israel was ready for direct talks, the official said, but the Palestinians "remain stuck in outdated positions.
The quartet has been trying to revive the talks since September 23, when it issued a proposal that called for negotiations without preconditions, but with the end of 2012 as a clear deadline. A preliminary meeting was to have been held a month later, and in the first three months, the sides should have made substantial progress on the two issues of borders and security.
But instead of a preliminary meeting launching direct talks, Blair met the parties separately on October 26. They agreed to continue meeting separately and to "overcome the current obstacles" to resuming direct negotiations.
Israel argues that it has already agreed to a temporary settlement freeze from November 2009 to September 2010 and will not accept another one.
The Quartet statement said the envoys would remain in close contact with the parties, and would have a follow up meeting in December.
Also Monday, Israel's inner cabinet did not change a decision from two weeks ago, to freeze the transfer to the Palestinian Authority of tax revenues collected on its behalf.
The decision to freeze the money - revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on goods passing through its ports heading toward the West Bank or Gaza Strip markets in response to the Palestinians' successful bid to become a member-state of UNESCO.
In the Gaza Strip meanwhile, a Palestinian naval police officer was killed and four other people were injured in a pre-dawn Israeli airstrike on a naval police post under Hamas rule in the northern Gaza Strip.
The Israeli aerial attacks were a response to an earlier homemade rocket attack on southern Israel, security officials from the Islamist Palestinian movement said.
Israel has warned that it will harshly respond to any attack from Gaza on its territory.