Netanyahu: Settlement Halt Proves Israel Wants Peace

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Israeli police scuffled with settlers Sunday as they tried to enforce a settlement freeze in the West Bank.

Protesters outside the settlement of Kedumin blocked the road in an attempt to keep police out.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the 10-month freeze on construction shows Israel is serious about peace with the Palestinians.

"This is not an easy decision for them (Jewish settlers), it is not an easy decision for us," he said.

"The decision was taken because we see it as serving the wider interests of Israel and today it is also clear - to whomever it was not yet clear already - who wants peace and who today is acting as if they are opposed to peace," Netanyahu explained. "The state of Israel wants peace in the clearest possible sense."

Netanyahu announced the freeze last week in a bid to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which have been stalled since last year.

However, the Palestinian leadership says the move is not genuine since the freeze does not include east Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the decision has infuriated Jewish settlers who say the deal is a betrayal. They have already petitioned the High Court of Justice against the order to halt construction, Haaretz reported.

Currently, approximately 300,000 settlers live in the West Bank.

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