Barak and Begin to probe freeze

Barak, Begin head ctee

A committee headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Minister-Without-Portfolio Bennie Begin will examine the implementation of the settlement construction freeze and tend to the needs of citizens hurt by the moratorium, the Prime Minister's Office announced Friday evening. The team will look into ways of easing the difficulties experienced by settlers throughout the duration of the construction freeze. Other committee members are Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Eitan Dangot. The committee convened for the first time on Friday to define its goals and methods of operation. Its members will meet again on Sunday to continue their work. In related news, settler leaders are gearing up for a major demonstration outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's official residence next week, having failed at a fraught meeting on Thursday to persuade him to reconsider the 10-month freeze. Settler activists also appealed to the High Court of Justice on Thursday for an injunction against the freeze and continued to hamper civil administration inspectors touring settlements in search of building violations. Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report