JERUSALEM, Oct. 6, 2010 -- The Israeli army is investigating a video posted on YouTube featuring a male soldier performing a belly dancing routine besides a blindfolded female Palestinian prisoner.
The clip has apparently been on the site for two years, but was aired on Israeli Television Monday night.
It is the latest embarrassing clip of this kind to cause controversy and force the army onto the defensive, but this would be the first to target a Palestinian woman, a particularly inflammatory issue in Arab society.
The Israeli Defense Force said today it had launched an investigation into the incident.
"The IDF condemns this kind of activity and has worked and is working to eradicate it via briefings to soldiers.....The clips do not depict the norm, but rather are anomalies," said an IDF statement.
The Palestinian Authority condemned the video.
"This is a disgusting illustration of the sick mentality of the occupier. This is not an isolated incident. With the advent of easy to use media like YouTube, the truth is coming to light of a culture of humiliation of the Palestinians," the Palestinian Authority statement said.
Earlier this year a group of Israeli soldiers patrolling the Palestinian city of Hebron filmed themselves dancing to Yesha's "Tick Tock."
And in August, young female conscript Eden Abergil created a furor for a series of photos she posted on Facebook showing her posing provocatively with a group of handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees. She called the photos "the best years of my life."
The issue of videos and photos seen as possibly meant to taunt or humiliate Palestinians has become a divisive one inside Israel. Many have defended the incidents as nothing more harmful than youthful excess, while others are asking questions about the effects of Israel's occupation on the country's young soldiers.
The ease with which such material can be loaded by individual soldiers onto social media sites is giving the Israeli army problems with its image in Israel as well as in other countries.
YouTube Causing Problems for Israeli Army
In March an arrest operation in the West Bank had to be canceled because a soldier posted details of the planned operation on Facebook.