IDF Suspends Officer who Hit Anarchist
The IDF has decided to suspend Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, the IDF officer who was videotaped striking a Danish anarchist with his gun.
In an updated statement released late Sunday evening, the IDF Spokesman's Unit said, “The Head of Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident in which Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, Deputy Commander of the Bik'a Brigade, was seen hitting protesters in the Jordan Valley yesterday. After an initial inquiry conducted this evening (Sunday) by the Commander of the Bik’a Brigade, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon decided to adopt the recommendation of the Head of the Armored Corps, Brig. Gen. Agai Yehezkel, and suspend the officer immediately until the investigation is fully concluded.”
The statement added that the Chief Military Advocate General, Brigadier General Danny Efroni, has ordered that the Military Police investigate the incident as well.
Earlier Sunday, the anarchists uploaded a video to the Internet in which Eisner is seen slamming his gun, magazine first, into the face of an ISM anarchist. As is usual in such cases, the anarchists' video is edited and does not include any documentation of their provocations vis-à-vis the reservist force that had to deal with them on the Jewish Sabbath. There was no evidence in the video that the anarchist was injured.
The incident occurred near Route 90, which runs along Israel's eastern border. The anarchists were obviously ignoring the orders of the IDF force to clear the road.
The anarchists claimed that they were trying to conduct a peaceful protest by riding their bicycles on Route 90. IDF forces "brutally attacked" them, they claimed, and three activists were hospitalized after the event.
The IDF Spokesman's Unit told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that "This is a grave incident. The Head of Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has ordered that a thorough and serious inquiry be conducted. The inquiry will look into the circumstances that preceded the events documented in the video as well as the serious incident that is seen in the film. Lessons will be learned and proper steps will be taken."
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said on Sunday evening that he views the incident as a very serious one. The IDF Spokesman quoted Gantz as having said, “The incident does not reflect the values of the IDF and will be thoroughly investigated."
It was also revealed on Sunday that Eisner told a confidante that the leftist he was seen hitting in the video struck him first, causing fractures in his hand.
Arik Ben Shimon, who served under Eisner in the past, spoke to him after the incident and heard his version of what happened.
The Deputy Brigade Commander said that the moment taped and published in the internet was preceded by verbal and physical violence by the leftists against him and his soldiers.
"You have to understand that this was a confrontation that lasted over two hours and not an event that lasted a few minutes," Ben Shimon told Arutz Sheva. "This was the last line of defense before an area that was declared a 'closed military zone' and the video is obviously edited in a biased way, leaving out the part where that anarchist from Denmark hit Eisner with a stick in his right hand and caused fractures in his hand."