Ex-Israeli soldier's controversial Facebook pics

ITN News

by ITN News

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A former Israeli soldier has posted photos on Facebook of herself in uniform smiling beside bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoners, drawing sharp criticism from the Israeli military and Palestinian officials.

Israeli news websites and blogs showed two photographs of the woman. In one, she is sitting legs crossed beside a blindfolded Palestinian man who is slumped against a concrete barrier.

His face is turned downwards, while she leans toward him with her face upturned. Another shows her smiling at the camera with three Palestinian men with bound hands and blindfolds behind her.

The incident is a reminder of the fraught relations between Israeli soldiers and the West Bank Palestinians under their control.

Israeli soldiers have run into trouble on the social media sites like Facebook and YouTube before. Most recently a group of combat soldiers were reprimanded for breaking into choreographed dance moves while on patrol in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib condemned the photos and said they pointed to a deeper malaise - how Israel's 43-year-old occupation of Palestinians has affected the Israelis who enforce it: "This picture of an Israeli soldier enjoying humiliating Palestinian prisoners is an example of the day-to-day life of the Palestinian people under occupation."