The Israeli military says it has suspended a senior military officer filmed assaulting an unarmed activist protesting Israeli occupation policies in the West Bank.

In the video, Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner is seen smashing the Danish activist in the face with his M16 rifle.

The military said Monday that Eisner would be suspended while the incident is investigated.

The assault was posted on the Internet and broadcast on Israeli TV on Sunday.

It further tarnished Israel's image the same day the government suppressed a mass fly-in of pro-Palestinian protesters who had hoped to draw world attention to the Israeli occupation.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of activists were barred from boarding flights to Tel Aviv and dozens of others were denied entry after landing.