Female soldier smiles for camera in front of bound prisoners, before joking online with friends; army calls photos ‘ugly and callous’.
A former Israel Defense Forces soldier has raised a storm on the internet after posting photographs of herself posing next to blindfold Palestinian prisoners on Facebook. Photographs uploaded by Eden Abergil from Ashdod and labeled "IDF – the best time of my life" show her smiling next to Palestinian prisoners with their hands bound and their eyes covered.
"That looks really sexy for you," says a comment posted by one of Abergil’s friends on the social networking site, alongside a picture or the soldier smiling in front of two blindfold men. Abergil’s repose, posted below, reads: "I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I’ll have to tag him in the photo."
Because Abergil was discharged a year ago, the army has no power to prevent her from publicizing the photographs.
The pictures have since been removed from the site – but not before being duplicated across the web by a variety of bloggers and news sites. The IDF said in a statement: "These actions are ugly and callous; details of the incident have been forwarded up the chain of command." Israeli blogger Lisa Goldman contacted the former soldier via Facebook, who replied: "I don't speak to leftists." In the past year, the IDF hs announced new strict rules for soldiers, forbidding them to post photos from military operations and bases. IDF military intelligence has an office tasked with identifying leaks of sensitive material and can refer cases to military police, potentially leading to a criminal conviction for any soldier caught breaking information security directives. Yishai Menuchin, the director of the Public Committee Against Torture, an NGO, Yishai Menuchin, condemned the soldiers actions: "The horrible pictures demonstrate a norm of treating Palestinians like objects instead of human beings – treatment that disregards their feelings as humans and their right to privacy." He added: "The soldier would go crazy if photographs of her in humiliating circumstances had been posted on the internet without her permission. We call upon IDF commanders to issue orders to prevent this kind of humiliating behavior."
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