Defense Minister Ehud Barak commented Tuesday for the first time on the incident involving an IDF officer who struck a pro-Palestinian protester with a rifle, saying that the officer's statement in the matter were "unacceptable."
Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner was suspended Sunday following the release of footage depicting him striking a Danish protester with an M-16 rifle.
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Eisner, who later said that he "didn’t put anyone's life in danger," added that despite the harsh criticism the act met from all military echelons, "All these stories do not interest our chief of staff (Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz) or the head of my command (GOC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon).
"I believe that completing the mission is more important than looking good for the camera," he said.
He later added he regretted the statements, saying "sometimes it's better to shut up."
Barak, who is on an official visit to Colombia, said: "Completing missions and maintaining IDF norms and ethics are not mutually exclusive.
"Statement made over the past few days, suggesting that the officer's behavior was prompted by operational necessity are unacceptable."
IDF sources told Ynet that it is very likely that Eisner will be relieved of his command and quite possibly dismissed from service altogether.
The Military Police's investigation into the incident is ongoing.
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