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Defense minister backs suspension of officer filmed hitting activist (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By RON FRIEDMAN 04/17/12)Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/defense-minister-backs-suspension-of-officer-taped-hitting-activist/ TIMES OF ISRAEL TIMES OF ISRAEL Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Ehud Barak commends military, slams media for treatment of Saturday’s incident

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday commended Chief of General Staff Lt.-Col. Benny Gantz and Central Command Chief Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon for their quick decision to suspend Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner after he was caught hitting a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his rifle butt during a demonstration on Saturday.

“Suspension was the proper and necessary move in response to a severe incident that does not meet the norms and standards of the IDF,” said Barak in an interview to Army Radio Monday, but added that the army needed time to fully investigate what took place. “I don’t think we need to judge based on a YouTube video. That’s why we have formal military investigations.”

Barak slammed the local and international media for blowing the incident out of proportion and chided Eisner’s supporters for sending their support letter to the media. “The proper address for that letter is me and the chief of staff. The moment it appears in the media, it begins smelling of politics,” Barak said.

When asked why soldiers were conducting what appeared to be police work in the first place, Barak said that due to conditions in the West Bank, the army sometimes has to carry out law and order related missions and that he expects soldiers and officers to cope and not lose control.

The defense minister stressed that it was an isolated incident that did not reflect on the military as a whole. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 04/17/12)

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