At Kedumin, building inspectors turned away; at Talmon, after a standoff, they enter

At Kedumin, building ins

Around noon on Thursday Aharon Karish's phone rang with a warning message that civil administration inspectors were on their way to his settlement. Karish, who heads Talmon's council, drove immediately to the metal gate at the outskirts of his community, intent on barring their entry. He was joined, Karish said, by dozens of other residents who heard about it and spontaneously gathered there as well. After four days of hearing how civil administration inspectors had pushed their way into settlements across the West Bank as part of the effort to impose a 10-month moratorium on new construction, they knew what to expect. "People are very angry," said Karish, who added that they were looking for some way to express their frustration. Civil administration inspectors Thursday visited 23 communities across the West Bank, with few incidents. In some cases they descended on a settlement for the second time this week. It's expected that they will continue to visit settlements on Sunday as well. In some places they have been met by active resistance, but have entered anyway. In the Kedumim settlement in Samaria on Thursday, settlers claimed that they prevented the inspectors from entering for the third day in a row. In Talmon, located in the Binyamin region, residents parked a number of cars on the road, just inside the entryway to the settlement. They closed the gate and waited. Around 1:30 p.m. two or three inspectors came, accompanied by dozens of police, who pulled up to the gate in large, white marked vans. "They said they wanted to come in. We said we understood that and we hoped they understood that we could not let them," said Karish. "We felt like we were defending our homes," said Karish, a father of five who has lived in the settlement for the last 12 years. When Talmon residents refused to open the gate, police simply moved it by hand, Karish said. But the standoff continued for close to an hour before police similarly pushed aside the cars, Karish said. Some residents tried to talk with the police, others stood and shouted. One woman who screamed at them that they should be embarrassed was arrested, said Karish. Police alleged that she attacked a Special Patrol officer and arrested her. But Karish said that police surrounded her when she screamed and in the confusion believed that she had attacked them. She was later released, he said. "We are opposed to violence," he said. "We shouted, we cried, and we were in pain," but he said residents did not attack the police or the inspectors. Eventually, he said, police moved the cars so that inspectors could survey the settlement. The inspectors handed out a stop-work order on a 10-unit project which has already been under construction for three months, said Karish. He added that in his community of 250 religious families, many of whom voted for the Likud party, people feel betrayed. "We were certain that Bibi [Netanyahu] would fulfill his promise" and support building in the settlements, he said.