Fayyad meets Danish activist injured by soldier
Published Wednesday 18/04/2012 (updated) 20/04/2012 16:28
RAMALAH (Ma'an) -- The prime minister in Ramallah Salam Fayyad on Wednesday met with Andreas Ias, a Danish activist who was injured Saturday by an Israeli officer.
Fayyad condemned the attack and all of Israel's "continuous violations" against foreign activists, including the recent efforts by Israel to prevent over 1,000 visitors from visiting Palestine.
"When we talk about Israeli violations against out people, we won't forget the attack on Andreas, who arrived in solidarity, nor the Israeli and international campaign to play down the attack," Fayyad said.
Fayyad thanked the 20-year-old Danish national and all foreign solidarity activists.
Israel's military, meanwhile, has suspended a senior officer over the incident.
A video showed Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner holding his M-16 rifle in both hands and shouting at a group of demonstrators taking part in a bicycle rally in the occupied West Bank, before suddenly striking Ias in the face.
Soldiers had stopped a group of around 250 participants near the Jericho village of al-Auja and refused to let them start a cycling tour, which was organized by youth group Sharek and officials from the al-Auja environmental center.
Military spokesman Yoav Mordechai told Army Radio the officer's behavior was unacceptable and he had been suspended following an initial investigation. However, he said the edited video did not reflect the whole story.
"These are harsh pictures, but I still can't divorce the filmed episodes from the incident that lasted over an hour and which included violence by the anarchists and Palestinians, (though) this does not justify what we see."
Ias was treated in a Palestinian hospital for light injuries and said Monday that he was well.
"We were just walking slowly towards the soldiers, we were chanting Palestinian songs calling for the liberation of Palestine. I don't believe that is a provocation," he told Israel's Channel 10 television.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the officer's actions.
Reuters contributed to this report.