Danes demand answers for attack on protester

Foreign Ministry meets with Danish ambassador to discuss incident

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner strikes a Danish protester with his rifle. (Screen capture/Youtube)
Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner strikes a Danish protester with his rifle. (Screen capture/Youtube)

The Danish foreign minister demanded an explanation from Israel on Monday regarding an incident Saturday in which a senior IDF officer hit a Danish protester in the face with his rifle at a demonstration near Jericho.

“We don’t yet know the circumstances surrounding the episode. The Danish ambassador has therefore immediately asked the Israeli authorities for a report,” Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal said in a press release.

“Our ambassador demanded answers from Israel immediately. The Danish citizen (Andreas Ayas) will obviously receive consular aid, should he desire,” he said.

Danish Ambassador to Israel Liselotte Plesner spoke with the Foreign Ministry’s Europe division, who informed her that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the event and that Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner had been suspended from his position. The ambassador said she would forward the information to Copenhagen.

Søvndal reiterated these details in his letter, and said that an investigation into the matter has been opened.

“The Israeli prime minister’s comments have been very critical on the incident. I agree with him. We must all condemn the use of force, which apparently has been used against the demonstrators,” the foreign minister said.

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