Police on Friday prevented several hundred Israeli left-wing activists and Palestinians from holding a protest rally near the Baladim outpost, limiting their actions instead to a mile march along Route 458, near the settlement of Kochav Hashahar.
Peace Now protest in Kohav Yaakov
Meretz Party head MK Zehava Gal-On posted the IDF order on her twitter page that declared the area a closed military zone.
Both she and MK Michal Rozen (Meretz) joined the Peace Now protest, and included members of the Tayhush and Haqel – Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights.
MK Michal Rozin speaks at the protest in Kohav Yaakov
Peace Now organized the event to protest an attack on left-wing activists and Palestinian goat herders from Uja.
An April 21 video showed the right-wingers throwing stones at the activists and in some cases hitting them with sticks.
On her way to the protest, Gal-On sent a tweet calling the attack a “pogrom.” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) accused Gal-On on twitter of “incitement,” stating “the only pogrom” was one of “false anti-Israel propaganda.”
When Gal-On’s bus along with three others arrived at, from where they intended to head to Baladim, police blocked their path.
Some of the activists headed up the surrounding hill, holding Peace Now flags while others held Palestinian ones. A few of the Palestinian demonstrators also held flags in support of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms for murder and terrorist attacks.
A few of the activists banged on drums as the flags fluttered in the breeze. Gal-On and Rozen spoke to the activists through a megaphone.
Rozen linked the protest with the prime minister’s decision earlier in the week to cancel his meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel after learning that the German planned to meet with Breaking the Silence activists.
Rozen said that, at a time when Israel is busy with a “diplomatic terrorist attack” singling out left-wing groups, the government’s “militias in the territories” are chasing and harming IDF soldiers and human rights workers.