IDF sources said Tuesday that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz will likely dismiss a senior officer who was caught on tape beating a Danish activist with his weapon on Saturday.
Gantz likely to dismiss Lt. Col. Eisner
They estimated Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner may be offered another position in the army. Central Command Chief Nitzan Alon is expected to hand over his recommendation on the matter to Gantz.
Eisner commented on the affair on Tuesday morning and told reporters, "These are tough times but I’ll get through it."
Asked about a petition in his support signed by soldiers who served under him, he said: "I had no knowledge of the petition until I saw it. As far as my future in the army goes, it’s not up to me. It’s not an easy time but I’ll get through it."
It has been reported that the officer is seeking legal council outside the army. Sources close to him estimated that a decision about his future in the IDF will be made in a week’s time, only after military investigators obtain all of the footage from the incident.
"I don’t envy Gantz and Alon, but if I were in their place I wouldn’t deliberate too much – I would not dismiss him," said Brigadier-General (res.) Tzvika Fogel. "Commanders are human and also make mistakes sometimes, they’re not robots. I don’t know Eisner and have never served alongside him but not every foolish little thing warrants dismissal. "
Fogel further added, "No one ever taught us to disperse protests. We were taught to defend the border, to thwart terrorism and kill terrorists. We were taught war and not (how to handle) spits in the face by protesters.
"There was no use of live fire in this case. If Eisner is dismissed this sends a message that senior officers like Eisner are criminals. Eisner knows how to lead an armored corps battalion into war, not disperse protests."