Danish ambassador asks Israel to explain assault on protester (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid and Chaim Levinson 04/17/12)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-Top
The Danish ambassador on Monday asked Israel to explain a senior IDF
officer´s assault on a Danish peace activist near Jericho on
Saturday. Meanwhile Haaretz has learned that the officer apparently
ignored orders issued after similar incidents involving peace
Video footage posted on YouTube showed Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner, deputy
commander of the IDF´s Jordan Valley brigade, striking Danish
activist Andreas Ias in the face with an M-16 rifle during a cycle
rally near Jericho in the West Bank.
Following disturbances caused by Jewish settlers who wished to march
to Jericho in August 2010, instructions were issued not to use
reserve forces to handle such incidents. Accordingly, Eisner was
supposed to wait until large police reinforcements, who are more
experienced in dealing with disturbances, arrived on the scene.
The brigade´s commanders said in the inquiry after that incident that
since the Jordan Valley is relatively quiet, the troops there are
almost always reserve soldiers, who have little experience in
These conclusions were implemented in December 2011, when a group of
15 youngsters crossed the border fence and tried to set up an outpost
in Jordan Valley´s Qasr al-Yahud. Eisner commanded the troops that
arrived at the scene. The document summing up the incident, which
Haaretz has obtained, says Eisner asked for reinforcements of border
police and commandos from the brigade.
Ultimately an experienced border police unit arrived several hours
later, and evacuated the protesters without violence, the document
But on Saturday Eisner acted contrary to the instructions previously
issued and tried to disperse the protesters using troops who were not
trained to do so, without border police support.
Haaretz´s probe indicates that at no stage was the West Bank police
headquarters notified of the event. The brigade´s commanders noted in
the past that Palestinians may try to demonstrate at the al-Auja
junction, where Saturday´s incident took place, because of the
proximity of buildings to the road. The troops had been trained and
equipped for such a scenario, but no part of the training was
implemented in response to Saturday´s incident .
Danish ambassador to Israel Liselotte Plesner met Rafi Shotz on
Monday, Deputy director-General for Europe in the Foreign Ministry,
and asked for clarifications of the incident. and requested updates
on the investigation after its completion.
Plesner said Denmark approves of the denunciations issued by
President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after
Denmark´s Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal said in a statement that
Denmark is still unaware of all of the circumstances surrounding the
event and added that the Danish activist will receive all necessary
consular assistance if he so wishes.
The IDF spokesman commented: "The Central Command is evaluating the
situation with all the officials who deal with disturbances of the
peace and security, to ensure public safety and prevent friction. The
investigation into Saturday´s incident is still ongoing so we cannot
refer to it specifically." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/17/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY