Four Arrested as Rightists Continue to Fight Settlement Freeze

Rightists try to stop inspectors from touring settlement; settlers: Police used excessive force.

Four right-wing activists were arrested Thursday on suspicion of attacking police officers, as settlers continued efforts to prevent officials from enforcing a construction freeze in West Bank settlements.

Police arrested the four at the settlement of Talmon, in the northern West Bank, where dozens of residents and rightists had clashed with Civil Administration inspectors and Border Police forces, Israel Radio said.

The rightists reportedly tried to prevent the inspectors from touring the settlement. They were quoted as claiming that Border Policemen used excessive force against them.

The clashes came after a Border Policewoman was moderately wounded on Tuesday during a clash between Israeli security forces and settlers, who were also resisting the moratorium.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the move last month as a bid to restart stalled peace talks with the Palestinians. Settlers and their supporters have resisted the move, attempting to block the entry of inspectors to settlements and staging protests across the country.

The Palestinians, for their part, say Netanyahu's offer is not genuine since it does not include east Jerusalem, which they want as the capital of a future state, or 3,000 housing units under construction.