Israel suspends officer who hit protester with gun (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/16/12)
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The Israeli army said 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
The assault took place on Saturday during a bicycle ride in the
Jordan Valley near Jericho which involved Palestinians and foreign
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
"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
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 spokeswoman told AFP.
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.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 04/16/12)
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