JERUSALEM, April 18 (UPI) -- Israel's chief of staff dismissed a senior officer from his post after he was caught on camera slamming his rifle into a protester's face, the army said.
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Wednesday Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner will no longer serve as deputy commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade and will not be allowed to serve in a command position for the next two years, Israel Radio said.
Gantz described Eisner's action a "moral failure" and said the incident revealed operational failures in the preparation of the soldiers deployed in the area at the time of the protest ride by activists.
While Eisner will remain in the army, Gantz also ruled he will not be able to take up his post as deputy commander of the Officers Training School, a position he was due to start in the summer.
A military police investigation into Eisner's actions continues and it is possible if charged, he will be forced to leave the army, the radio said.
On Saturday, Eisner was caught hitting 20-year-old pro-Palestinian Danish protester Andreas Ias in the face with his M-16 rifle as soldiers tried to prevent a group of Palestinians, foreigners and Israeli activists from continuing a cycling protest on a highway in the Jordan Valley. Ias required hospital treatment and Eisner suffered two broken fingers.
The footage was posted on YouTube by the International Solidarity Movement, which sponsored the event.