Key report: Israel, Palestinians must tackle peace barriers

The U.N.'s Mideast envoy says a report by international mediators will call on Israel and the Palestinians to urgently reverse key obstacles to peace — Israeli settlement expansion, the Palestinian Authority's lack of control over Gaza, and continuing violence, terrorism and incitement.

Nicolay Mladenov told the Security Council Thursday that the report by the Quartet — the U.N., U.S., European Union and Russia — will recommend ways to address these negative trends and reiterate last September's call for Israel to give the Palestinians greater civil authority.

Mladenov expressed hope that both sides will engage with the Quartet to move the peace process forward based on the report, which is expected to be released Friday. But he stressed that a final peace agreement can only be reached by direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.