A group of European peace activists bicycling near Jericho in the Palestinian West Bank were stopped by Israeli occupation forces, and Lt Col Shalom Eisner, deputy commander of the Jordan Valley territorial brigade, abruptly slammed his rifle into the face of Danish activist Andreas Ias. A video of the event has emerged which makes it clear that the cyclists were entirely peaceful and that Lt. Col. Eisner’s burst of rage was unprovoked. The Danish ambassador has asked Israeli authorities for an explanation, and President Shimon Peres has expressed dismay at this act, as has PM Binyamin Netanyahu. But Ias, the victim, says he is surprised by the shock the incident produced, since he says he saw Israeli soldiers behaving this way routinely with Palestinians in the area.
The incident was unrelated to, but coincided with, Israel’s refusal to allow pro-Palestinian activists entrance into the country.