"Remember it takes only 10 seconds out of hours of video footage to cause irreparable damage to the image of the soldiers, the army and the State," an instruction page distributed by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit to soldiers serving in Judea and Samaria read.
The instruction page, which was obtained by Ynet, urges officers to remember that "the media, and especially the foreign press, is looking for strong images, even provocative, and therefore we must refrain from creating such images unnecessarily.
- Denmark seeks clarifications over activist's beating
Soldiers to IDF chief: Officer who beat activist 'ethical'
Gantz likely to dismiss Lt. Col. Eisner
"Remember that reporters on the field can create a provocation by their very presence or even intentionally in order to incite you to react the way they want you to," the document stated.
In recent years, the IDF has been sending combat soldiers with a camcorder to accompany units during operational activities, including suspect arrests, patrols inside Palestinian villages and riots. The footage recorded during these activities is then used for legal and advocacy purposes.
Every spatial brigade has an IDF Spokesperson's Unit representative at hand, in addition to the division spokespersons. Also, almost every company or regiment commander has a camcorder, and it is quite common to see soldiers carrying video cameras during regimental exercised.
All these precautions, however, have not helped avoid the incident on Saturday in which Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner was captured on camera striking a Danish activist with his M-16 rifle.
'Lethal, yet legitimate weapon'"The media has taken a central place on the modern battlefield and constitutes a lethal, yet legitimate weapon with which to achieve the goal," the document read.
"The media does not reflect reality as a mirror, but rather shapes and influences it. The Palestinians make good use of this tool. It's important to be the one leading and not the one being led," the document stated, while stressing the need for swift reactions and reliability.
"Unlike in the past, nowadays all soldiers and officers in the territories are aware that pro-Palestinian activists are trying to ambush them," an officer serving in the Judea and Samaria regiment told Ynet. "The goal is to capture the soldiers beating or verbally attacking or humiliating the Palestinian population."
The officer explained that soldiers serving in the territories get an extensive briefing on the subject. "The forces get lectures and even undergo simulations that were very similar to what happened (to Lt. Col. Eisner) in reality. That's why it’s difficult to understand why an officer such as himself fell into their trap."
IDF sources said Tuesday that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz will likely dismiss Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner. The sources also estimated that he 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.
Earlier on Tuesday Eisner commented on the affair and told reporters, "These are tough times but I'll get through it."
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