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article imageVideo of Israeli soldier hitting activist sparks condemnation

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By Paul Iddon     Apr 16, 2012 in World
A senior Israeli military officer caught on video assaulting a Danish pro-Palestinian activist has been strongly condemned.
The military officer responsible for the beating has been suspended according to Ynet News and CBS News respectively.
Shalom Eisner has shown regret for what he has done stating he shouldn't have flung his weapon "like that" but added in his defence that the video showed "60 seconds out of a two-hour event."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has openly condemned the incident stating that "such conduct is not characteristic of IDF soldiers and commanders and has no place in the IDF and the State of Israel."
An inquiry into the incident is underway and Mr. Eisner has been suspended until the investigation is completed.
He has stated the activists were out of control and that they intended to block Route 90 the longest Israeli road. He stated that he had explained to them they were posing a major security risk and also added he had done the same thing when right-wing activists had previously tried to protest on that highway.
He then went on to explain how he had allowed the foreign activists to demonstrate inside the village of Ouja, he then explained how the situation deteriorated:
"It was a group of 60 activists and suddenly two buses arrived and the activists all together called to block the road while closing our barrier. One of the Palestinian organizers told me at this stage that she no longer had control over the event."
He claims to then have been attacked with sticks and had his finger broken.
He was quoted as saying to the Associated Press that:
"The moment these people are out of control, running around and creating trouble, their dream is to be hit by an officer and get it on camera."
Eisner is said to be a highly esteemed officer who has exercised calculated action in two previous occasions, only being helping a Palestinian woman give birth at a checkpoint and another saw him chase some Israelis who had run over a Palestinian girl and attempted to flee the scene.
The 20-year-old Danish activist whom was smashed in the face with Mr. Eisner's M-16 assault rifle has asserted that the demonstration he was participating in was "completely nonviolent." He refused to be identified stating he didn't want to be sought out by Israeli authorities.
The Danish Foreign minister Villy Soevndal has agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu's critical comments about the incident and stated that:
"We must condemn the use of force, which apparently has been used against the demonstrators."
This episode is another in a long line of troubled relations between Israel and various different international pro-Palestinian activists. Clashes between the two have often resulted in injuries and even death, the most infamous example being the Israeli raid on an activist flotilla that was attempting to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip in May of 2010 which left nine activists dead.
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