Israel suspends officer who hit protester

2012-04-16 13:00
Jerusalem - The Israeli army said on Monday it has suspended an officer who hit a foreign activist in the face with his gun, in an attack that was condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner has been suspended until the conclusion of the inquiry which has been opened," a military spokesperson said.

The assault took place on Saturday during a bicycle ride in the Jordan Valley near Jericho which involved Palestinians and foreign activists.

According to footage a protester posted on YouTube, Eisner is seen suddenly smashing his M-16 rifle into the face of a blond demonstrator in an apparently unprovoked attack.

The images were picked up by an Israeli TV station late on Sunday, sparking condemnation from Netanyahu, and dominating the headlines in Monday's papers.

"Such behaviour is not characteristic of the soldiers and commanders of the IDF [Israel Defence Forces]," Netanyahu said in a statement released late on Sunday.


"It has no place in the IDF and the State of Israel."

Chief-of-Staff Benny Gantz also condemned the attack which he said would be "thoroughly investigated and treated with the utmost severity".

The military described the incident as "very serious" and said it was looking into "the circumstances leading up to this incident as well as on its repercussions", a spokesperson said.

The activist is reportedly a Danish national who arrived in Israel two months ago to join a Palestinian solidarity movement.

Quoting a military source, Israel's Channel 10 television said the officer apparently lost his patience as he and his troops tried to turn away cyclists shouting anti-Israeli slogans and waving Palestinian flags from an area defined as a closed military zone.

-    The following video contains graphic content.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  middle east peace
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Tuilagi gets punishment cut
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Wales look to Biggar for big impact
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.