Rights group slams Peretz, PM for Hebron remarks

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel accused Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Sunday of misleading the public, following Peretz's statement that an IDF soldier who saw a settler woman cursing and attacking her Palestinian neighbor in Hebron last week had no authority to stop her. Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, both men condemned the incident, a video of which was broadcast on Israeli TV stations. Olmert said he was "ashamed" of the footage and called on settler leaders to distance themselves from the incident. However, after condemning the event, Peretz pointed out that the soldier was not authorized to get involved in fights between settlers and Palestinians.