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Benjamin Netanyahu urges settler "restraint" as freeze ends

The prime minister called on the residents in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the political parties to show restraint and responsibility.

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Jewish settlers to act with restraint once a limited building moratorium expires on Sunday, an appeal that appeared aimed at keeping Israeli-Palestinian peace talks alive.

"The prime minister calls on the residents in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the political parties to show restraint and responsibility today and in the future exactly as they showed restraint and responsibility throughout the months of the freeze," an official statement said.

It was issued several hours before a settler-organised cornerstone-laying ceremony in a West Bank settlement to mark the end of a 10-month partial construction freeze which Netanyahu has said he would not extend, despite Palestinian threats to abandon the US-sponsored talks.

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