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Diluting his promise to block Netanyahu’s proposal to halt settlement building Dannon later said that the 10-month moratorium will prove that the settlements have never been an obstacle to peace.

“This policy of restraint will prove once and for all that settlements have never been, nor will they ever be obstacles to peace,” said Ayalon.

He added, “This is only a limited window of opportunity. It will be sufficient to demonstrate whether the Palestinians are serious about peace or just serial excuse givers. The gazes of the international community will now turn to the Palestinians and to the Arab world, something that the Palestinians in particular have fought hard to prevent for the last eight months.”

AP contributed to this report