The head of the IDF Central Command has indefinitely suspended Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner and ordered an investigation into an incident on Saturday, where Eisner hit a Danish political activist in the face with his rifle. In addition, the Military Advocate-General’s department has decided to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against the officer. The incident happened during a two-hour standoff between the IDF and Palestinians accompanied by activists from the International Solidarity Movement, who were protesting the closure of Route 90 in the Jordan Valley to Palestinian traffic. Eisner claims that prior to striking the activist he was attacked with sticks by some of the protestors, and had his finger broken.
Commenting on the incident, prime minister Netanyahu said, “such behaviour does not characterize IDF soldiers and officers and has no place in the Israel Defence Forces and in the State of Israel.” IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said, “the incident does not reflect IDF principles and will be thoroughly investigated.”
Meanwhile, attempt by pro-Palestinian activists to cause disruptions at Ben Gurion airport yesterday in a so-called ‘flytilla’, passed off largely without incident. Many activists were prevented from boarding their intended flights to Israel by the airlines.