Jerusalem: In a damage control exercise, Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned humiliating treatment of bound Palestinian detainees by Israeli soldiers as "an embarrassment" to the country and its Army, amid global outrage over a spate of such incidents.
Reacting to an Internet footage that shows an Israeli soldier wriggling in a belly dance beside a blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian woman prisoner to the cheers of his comrades, Netanyahu said that "it is not the way of the State of Israel and not the way of the Jewish People".
The Israeli Army has ordered an internal investigation after a Channel 10 television programme broadcast the clip posted on YouTube.
"These actions and videos are an embarrassment to the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) and to the State of Israel," the Premier said.
Acknowledging that a spate of similar incidents over the past year has harmed Israel`s interest, he said, "They cause us heavy damage internationally”.
"The IDF is one of the most moral armies in the world and treats prisoners and detainees with honour. Humiliating (them) is not the way of the State of Israel and not the way of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said.
Earlier, a former IDF woman soldier, Eden Abergil, in August sparked worldwide controversy by posting photos of herself beside a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner on her Facebook page, labelled "IDF - the best time of my life".
Three troops were arrested a few days later while photographing themselves alongside cuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees using their cellphones in a series of such embarrassing incidents for the Israeli Army.
Some other soldiers face disciplinary action for uploading a video of themselves halting during a patrol in the West Bank to perform a choreographed pop dance.