yair naveh 298 88 idf.
(photo credit: IDF [file])
The IDF on Sunday canceled a ban on Palestinians riding with Israelis or foreigners in cars in the West Bank, Israeli media reported. The ban, which came under withering criticism from human rights groups, was never implemented.
The military announced the ban in November and planned to put it into effect in mid-January, but postponed implementation two days before the chosen date. On Sunday, the Israeli army commander for the West Bank region, Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, canceled the ban, the reports said. The military had no immediate comment.
Aid groups said the ban would make their work more difficult, because they would be unable to transport Palestinian aid workers. Foreign correspondents complained that they would not be able to travel with their translators. Human rights groups charged the ban was part of an Israeli plan to create separate road systems for Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank.
The military had cited security concerns to justify the ban. It said some of the suicide bombers who have entered Israel in recent years were transported by citizens - mostly Israeli Arabs whose Israeli license plates allow them to cross army roadblocks without being checked.
Michael Sfard, legal adviser of Yesh Din, one of the human rights groups that opposed the order, welcomed the decision to cancel it. In a statement, he said the pressure from the groups "saved us from sinking into a moral abyss."