Israel-Hamas war: Israeli soldiers filmed toying with lingerie at Gaza homes, sparks outrage

Several photos and videos of Israeli soldiers playing and posing with lingerie found in abandoned Palestinian homes in Gaza have surfaced on social media, triggering global outrage.

A video doing the rounds on social media shows a grinning Israeli soldier sitting in an armchair in a room with a gun in one hand. He is seen dangling a white woman’s underwear from the other hand over the open mouth of a man lying on a sofa, news agency Reuters reported.

In another visual, a soldier is seen sitting atop a tap holding a female mannequin dressed in a black bra and helmet and heard saying, “I found a beautiful wife, serious relationship in Gaza, great woman.”

The lingerie and mannequin images and videos, verified by Reuters, have been viewed tens of thousands of times after being reposted by Younis Tirawi, a Palestinian reporter.

One photo shows a soldier posing with his gun and making a thumbs-up gesture, in front of a bed strewn with packets of women’s underwear.

Another one shows a soldier holding a bare female mannequin from behind with his hands on its breasts and another soldier fondling a half-naked doll.

UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said such images and videos of Israeli soldiers’ actions were “demeaning to Palestinian women and all women”.

“The posting of such images is demeaning to Palestinian women, and all women,” she was quoted by Reuters as saying.

In response, an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson said the military expects soldiers to follow orders and values, and probe incidents of those who deviate from the rules and videos and photos uploaded on social media.

“In cases where suspicion of a criminal offence arises that justifies opening an investigation, an investigation is opened by the military police,” it said in a statement.

“It should be clarified that in some of the examined cases, it is concluded that the expression or behaviour of the soldiers in the video is inappropriate, and it is handled accordingly,” the statement added.

However, the IDF did not specify whether it was referring to the viral images and photos of Israeli soldiers or whether any action had been taken against the troops.

The development came at a time when Israel and Hamas, locked in a war since October 7 last year, have been accused of war crimes. Earlier this month, a team of UN experts said there were reasonable grounds to believe that sexual violence took place at multiple locations when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.

Experts also said that it had convincing information that some Israeli women hostages taken to Gaza by Hamas were subjected to rapes or gang rapes.

Meanwhile, YouTube said it took down a video flagged by Reuters for violating the platform’s harassment policies, adding it bars content that reveals an individual’s identifiable information.

Published By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Mar 29, 2024

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