IDF officer hitting activist with M-16 370.
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz will decide in the coming days
whether the senior officer who slammed his M16 in the face of a European
protester in the West Bank will be allowed to remain in military
On Tuesday, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon presented
the findings from his investigation against Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner to Gantz, who
requested a number of days to review the material before announcing his
Eisner was suspended from his post on Sunday after he was
caught on tape slamming an M16 rifle in the face of a Danish activist in the
Gantz is expected to decide either to order Eisner’s discharge
from the IDF for his actions or to assign him to another post. The incident took
place on Saturday during a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Road 90 in the
Eisner was a candidate to become the next deputy commander
of the Bahd 1 Officers Training School.
Based on preliminary findings
from the investigation into the incident, the commander of the Jordan Valley
Brigade – who was on leave due to the Passover holiday – had ordered units in
the area to call in police forces to assist in dispersing the demonstration
which was blocking traffic on Road 90.
Eisner reportedly decided to try
to clear the road on his own with just a dozen or so soldiers.
aired a recording of a conversation with Eisner in which he questioned the IDF’s
decision to suspend him and asked “What is more important? To fulfill the
mission or to look good on camera?” Eisner admitted that he might have made a
mistake but argued that the demonstrators attacked him. Medical documents, the
news channel revealed, backed up his claim that his hand had been fractured that
“It is true that some of the pictures look bad but in the end I used
my weapon as a bat,” he said. “No one was killed and I did not put
anyone’s life in danger.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed Tuesday
that the incident was isolated and does not reflect the IDF.
talking about a grave, but isolated case, which does not in any way characterize
the behavior of the IDF’s soldiers or commanders,” he said.