Security forces in the West Bank will not go easy on lawbreaking settlers protesting the settlement construction freeze, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beiteinu) said Saturday.
"If people intend to take the law into their own hands – the hilltop youth, the settlers, or their leaders – we won't go easy on anyone," the minister said in a Beersheba cultural event. "Anyone who breaks the law, whether they are in Dimona, Ariel, or Elkana, will be treated the same way."
"I hope we won't have to confront the settlers, who are dear to me," Aharonovitch added. "However, those who take the law into their own hands at Judea and Samaria junctions by blocking roads will not get any concessions."
Turning his attention to the decision to halt construction in Judea and Samaria, the minister said he endorsed the move, but expressed skepticism in respect to the prospect of renewing talks with the Palestinians in its wake.
"The decision opens new possibilities for us vis-a-vis friendly countries such as the United States, yet it gravely hurts the settlement enterprise," he said. "I don't see a chance that this will enable us to proceed with a diplomatic process, or that it will advance Mahmoud Abbas into a process of negotiations."