Battalion commander calls for dismissal of officer who attacked Israeli activists
Reservist captain filmed strangling activist, kicking another and hitting him with his rifle butt.
The commander of the Israel Defense Forces Judea battalion, Colonel Yehuda Fuchs, recommended Thursday the dismissal of the IDF reservist officer filmed the day before striking left-wing Israeli activists at a West Bank demonstration.
The officer, who holds the rank of captain, was caught on film with forcibly strangling a member of the "Anarchists against the Fence," kicking another member of the group and hitting him with his rifle butt.
The protesters had dismantled a temporary roadblock in the Hebron Hills, close to the town of Dahariyah, provoking the troops' response.
Around 10 anarchist activists and several Palestinians arrived at the site and removed cement blocks that were blocking an unpaved footpath connecting the town to Route 60, the main road in the West Bank that runs from south of the Hebron Hills to Hebron itself.
The activists then moved to the main road near the Otniel settlement and attempted to block it to traffic. The reservist soldiers who arrived the scene tried to remove the protesters, and which point the clashes erupted.
Speaking after consultations with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi later Wednesday, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that the images apparently showed excessive and serious behavior on the part of the soldiers, and the incident would be investigated and dealt with accordingly.