Activist beaten by IDF officer: Claim protesters were violent is 'a complete lie'
Speaking with Haaretz, Danish national Andreas Ias says IDF's claim that protesters were violent are untrue; President Peres 'shocked' by the incident, while the officer in question has been suspended.
Andreas Ias, the Danish activist that was hit in the face with an M-16 rifle by senior IDF officer Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner on Saturday, said on Monday that the officer's claim that the activists were violent is a fabrication.
The beating of the pro-Palestinian activist by a senior IDF officer was seen in a film posted on YouTube on Sunday.
Speaking with Haaretz, Ias said claims by IDF spokesman on Monday that the protesters were violent were "a complete lie."
He added that there was no violence on the part of any of the protesters. "We just wanted to enjoy the bike tour and the view," he said.
"If I thought this would happen I would have protected myself, it came out of nowhere," the Danish national said, adding that everything can be seen on the video uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by the International Solidarity Movement.
Andreas told Haaretz that after seeing the reported claims of the officer that he was responding to the violence of the protesters, he is considering submitting an official complaint that the attack on him was unprovoked.
Andreas is currently traveling to Ramallah, in order to consult with two lawyers regarding his options for legal recourse over the incident.
There were two more female activists who were also injured, the activist told Haaretz, adding that he hopes that they will be able to submit a complaint. There were other officers who also pushed the protesters to the ground, he said, but he was taken into an ambulance after he was injured, and did not see exactly what happened.
The IDF spokesman told Army Radio on Monday morning that there was no justification for the behavior of the officer, and that it was against IDF principles, although he said that there was violence from the Palestinian and foreign protesters, and that the video does not present the full picture of Saturday's events.
President Shimon Peres on Monday said he was "shocked" by the incident, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday condemned the incident, which was seen in a film posted on YouTube earlier Sunday.
"Such behavior does not characterize IDF soldiers and officers and has no place in the Israel Defense Forces and in the State of Israel," Netanyahu said.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz also commented on the incident in which a senior officer was filmed hitting a leftist activist in the face with an M-16 rifle, saying he sees the incident as very grave, and the IDF announced on Sunday that the deputy commander of the IDF's Jordan Valley brigade who was filmed hitting the activist will be dismissed from his position.