A new video released Friday shows that Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, the commander who was dismissed from his position after an edited video showed him using force to restrain a protester, may have hit four other protesters – including women riding bicycles – during the same incident.
The video was reported on by the Israeli press but it was disseminated by the extreme leftist group B'Tselem, which aims its reports only at Israel and is notorious for publishing one-sided reports aimed at damaging the IDF's and Israel's standing.
It should also be noted that the video consists of two clips filmed and edited by Palestinian Authority television, a fact which may suggest it was edited, as was the original video depicting Eisner, to remove some of the protesters’ provocations.
The new video shows protesters arriving on bikes to confront Eisner and his soldiers. They are shown standing beside the soldiers, waving signs and calling for “an end to the occupation.”
One of the protesters is then shown being interviewed on the PA TV channel and saying the protesters have no intention of leaving the area. After several minutes a commotion begins and the demonstrators are shown standing in front of the soldiers, trying move towards them. It is at this point that Eisner and his men begin to use force against the provocateurs.
One soldier is shown pushing one cyclist. Eisner is then seen striking the Danish demonstrator in the face, the same incident as in the original video of him. A female demonstrator is then seen heading towards Eisner and he is shown hitting her with his rifle as well. Eisner is then shown turning to another demonstrator and hitting him with the rifle as well. The video then cuts to a later point, in which Eisner is shown using force to remove two other demonstrators. The protesters then leave, at which point the video ends.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz decided earlier this week to remove Eisner from his command position following the media storm over the original edited video showing him using force to restrain a protester.
Lt. Col. Eisner will not be allowed to perform any duties as a commander for two years. Military sources told Arutz Sheva that Lt. Gen. Gantz made his decision after consulting with the Central Command and the Ground Forces commander.
Eisner told a confidante after the incident that the leftist he was seen hitting in the video struck him first, causing fractures in his hand. In later pictures, his fingers were bandaged.
Channel 2 News quoted the IDF Spokesman as having said in response to Friday's video, “Following the serious incident, the Chief of Staff decided to dismiss Shalom Eisner from his position and stated that he will not be allowed to perform as a commander for at least two years. At the same time, Military Police launched an investigation and will examine all the evidence and will submit the material to the Chief Military Advocate General for a decision.”
The B'Tselem organization, meanwhile, claimed that the new video is further proof that the protesters did not use force and that the use force on the part of Eisner and his soldiers was unjustified.
“The documentation refutes the claims that the protesters were violent before they were attacked by the soldiers,” Channel 2 quoted B’Tselem director Jessica Montell as having said. “The serious event illustrates the sense of immunity from prosecution the deputy brigade commander felt, in the absence of effective deterrence mechanism - because there is almost no law enforcement in cases of violence by soldiers against Palestinians.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)