Lt. Col. Eisner: I didn’t put anyone’s life at risk

Deputy brigade commander suspended for striking pro-Palestinian activist with M-16 says, ‘What’s more important, fulfilling the task or looking good for the camera?’

Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, the IDF officer who was suspended for striking a pro-Palestinian protester from Denmark with an M-16 rifle, said in a conversation with a supporter that he never put “anyone’s life in danger.”

“What’s more important, fulfilling the task or looking good for the camera?” he said in a chat that was broadcast on Channel 10 News. “I am familiar with these anarchists’ history. They came with sticks and broke my hand, but no one talks about that or films that. It’s true; some of the pictures look bad. I used my weapon coldly, like a stick. I didn’t kill anyone, and didn’t put anyone’s life at risk.”

The altercation occurred Saturday when dozens of foreign activists and Palestinians on bicycles and on foot left Yitav, located near the Palestinian village of Ouja, and headed towards join Route 90, a major north-south artery. Access to the road was blocked by a group of IDF soldiers.

The activists said they sang and chanted peacefully for about half an hour, then decided to march toward the soldiers in an effort to reach Route 90. That is when Colonel Eisner became violent, they said.

“I believe the protesters themselves said after the incident that they cut the rally short and decided not to block the road only because of the way I handled the situation. But all these stories do not interest our chief of staff (Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz) or the head of my command (GOC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon),” Eisner said. “I believe that completing the mission is more important than looking good for the camera, but they (his commanding officers) claim it isn’t.


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By Ynet