Vatican, Oct. 27 ( - The Vatican's official newspaper has called for a resumption of talks between Israel and Palestine, lamenting that the two sides seem to "prefer closing themselves into a sterile unilateral vision."

"The new acts of violence in the territories remind us of the necessity for reopening the Isreali-Palestinian dialogue," L'Osservatore Romano said in a front-page story on October 25. Commenting on the recent bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, the paper argued that a return to negotiations, based on the "road map" formula, was "the only alternative to avoid tragedies."

But L'Osservatore noted that "the two sides do not seem to have any intention of confronting things realistically. The prospects for peace are likely to be drowned by a new wave of violence, the paper continued. L'Osservatore blamed both sides for the impasse: "On one hand terrorist groups have intensified their activities, causing death and destruction in Israel; on the other the government in Tel Aviv refuses any dealings with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, obstinately seeking a military solution to a question that can only be resolved by negotiations."

L'Osservatore noted with regret that "at this time of extreme tension" the Israeli government is plunging ahead with plans to build 323 new homes for Jewish settlers on the West Bank, and to continue building a wall around Palestinian territories despite a UN resolution demanding a halt to that construction project.