New video shows demoted Israeli officer striking five activists


JERUSALEM (JTA) — New video clips released by an Israeli NGO show Israeli Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner hitting five pro-Palestinian activists.

Eisner was dismissed last week from his command post following an investigation into an incident in which he was seen on a YouTube video hitting a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his rifle.

The new video released April 20 by the B’Tselem nongovernmental organization also was taken during last week’s protest bike ride in the Jordan Valley. Its aim is to show that the demonstration did not turn violent before Eisner began hitting the activists. The confrontation apparently began when one activist attempting to ride his bike on Route 90 ran into the leg of an Israeli army officer.   

The original video of the incident was posted early last week on YouTube by the International Solidarity Movement.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on April 18 relieved Eisner of his position as deputy division commander on "moral grounds," according to the IDF. Gantz said the probe also showed professional and command failures.

In addition to losing his command, Eisner will not become deputy commander of the Bahd 1 officers’ training school and will be ineligible to serve in commanding positions for the next two years.

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