Video: IDF Officer Shalom Eisner Strikes Danish Peace Activist Andreas Ias in Face with Rifle During Protest in Occupied West Bank
An Israeli officer struck a Danish peace activist in the face with his rifle during a protest against the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank on Saturday.
According to Haaretz, IDF Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner smashed his rifle into the face of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist Andreas Ias during a bicycle rally near Jericho, in the occupied West Bank. Shocking video of the incident shows Ias being assaulted and then carried away by fellow activists.
Eisner was supposed to wait until border police reinforcements, who are better trained to deal with civilian protests, arrived on the scene. His brigade of reserve forces had little experience in crowd control and dispersal.
Danish ambassador to Israel Liselotte Plesner met with Israeli officials on Monday and demanded clarification of the incident.
According to the BBC, Lt. Col. Eisner has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.
Ias was treated at a nearby hospital for light injuries sustained in the attack.
He was lucky. Other international activists have suffered mightily for demonstrating against the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands by Israeli forces. Members of the non-violent ISM have been particularly hard-hit. ISM activist Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American, was crushed to death by an American-made IDF Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer she thought was about to demolish a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip in March, 2003.
A month later, 21-year-old British student and ISM volunteer Tom Hurndall, wearing a bright orange jacket to identify himself as an unarmed peace activist, was shot in the head by an IDF sniper as he tried to rescue Palestinian children from an Israeli tank that was firing in their direction. The shooting left Hurndall in a coma; he died nine months later in a London hospital.
And in 2010, nine peace activists, including Turkish-American teenager Furkan Dogan, were shot dead by Israeli commandos during an illegal raid on a flotilla of ships traveling in international waters on their way to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.
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