IDF nixes Peace Now protest over Hebron incident

The IDF on Thursday morning forbade the left-wing organization Peace Now from holding a demonstration in Hebron on Friday to protest the harassment of a Palestinian woman by one of her Jewish neighbors. Last week, a B'tselem video showing Hebron resident Yifat Alkobi pushing the woman from the Abu Isha family and calling her a slut was released to the media. Alkobi, who claimed that the woman had provoked her, was summoned for questioning by police. Israel Radio reported Thursday that the Hebron army commander and the city's police chief had originally permitted the Peace Now demonstration, but OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Ya'ir Naveh had decided to cancel it, saying in a statement that it was a danger to public security, peace and order in Hebron. He nonetheless gave permission for the organization to hold a protest at the Okafim Junction north of the city. Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer said in response that the IDF's decision was outrageous and that the army was caving in to threats from the settlers. He pointed out that the IDF frequently allowed Jewish residents to hold public rallies in the city under full police supervision.