revava civil administration settlers 248.
(photo credit: )
The cabinet's decision to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank for 10 months proves that Israel wants peace, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the Palestinian Authority's rejection of his offer proves that the Palestinians are mounting obstacles to a peace deal. He reiterated previous comments that the cabinet's decision was "one-time and temporary... a freeze of unlimited and infinite duration."
Regarding West Bank settlers, the prime minister said the decision to freeze settlement construction was "certainly not easy, neither for them nor for us."
"It has to do with the heart of the homeland of the Jewish people. It has to do with settlers, Israelis who are our brothers; they are part of us and we are part of them," he affirmed.
Netanyahu called for unity within the government, and from MKs and settler leaders. "Our internal cohesion at this time is important - perhaps more important than anything - and I request the ministers' cooperation in implementing the decision and in helping, to the best of their abilities, to get through it as easily as possible, while upholding the law in the State of Israel," he told the cabinet.
Also Sunday morning, Kedumim residents pelted civil administration inspectors' cars with eggs, after the officials successfully distributed construction-halt edicts in the northern West Bank settlement.
Hundreds of residents attempted to block the inspectors from passing through the settlement, after they managed to enter the settlement via a neighboring Palestinian village. On Thursday and Friday last week, settlers blocked the inspectors from entering via Kedumim's main gate.
The officials left the settlement without further incident, and no arrests were made, Israel Radio reported.
In the Samaria settlement of Sha'arei Tikva, residents prevented the entrance of civil administration inspectors who had come to distribute notices.
The Ma'ale Adumim Regional Council also came out against the freeze on Sunday, petitioning the High Court of Justice to rescind the 10-month moratorium on settlement construction.
The petition states that the settlement construction freeze harms both the property and privacy rights of settlers.
Also, the freeze discriminates between residents living beyond the Green Line and Israelis living throughout the rest of the country, according to the petition.
The petition is similar to one submitted to the High Court of Justice last week by 14 local councils throughout Judea and Samaria.
On Saturday night, settler leaders warned that the 10-month moratorium was a prelude to the evacuation of their communities, as they urged their residents to mount a stiff non-violent campaign against the decree.
They called on settlers to build immediately and to join Wednesday's mass rally in Jerusalem's Paris Square, near Netanyahu's residence.
On Thursday, after inspectors had pushed their way into most West Bank settlements, settler leaders met with Netanyahu and urged him to rescind the moratorium. They also spoke of the immediate hardship the decree had caused.
AP, Tovah Lazaroff and Herb Keinon contributed to this report