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Israeli PM Condemns YouTube Video

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned videos filmed by Israeli soldiers that degrade Palestinians.

Mr. Netanyahu issued a statement Wednesday, after local news organizations aired a video posted on the YouTube website that appears to show a male Israeli soldier belly-dancing around a bound, blindfolded Palestinian woman. Officials have not said if they think the video is authentic, but Israel's military has launched an investigation.

The prime minister said the actions were an embarrassment to Israel's defense forces. He also said humiliating detainees was "not the way of the state of Israel" or the Jewish people.

A Palestinian woman (Ihsan al-Dababsi) who says she is depicted in the video says the incident left her feeling helpless and humiliated. The woman says the incident took place in 2007, after she was arrested and charged with being a member the Islamic Jihad militant group.

The woman says she was handcuffed and blindfolded while at a detention center near Bethlehem but could hear music and the laughter of soldiers. She says she got a glimpse of what was happening because her blindfold was not tight. Israel's Ynet news says the woman plans to sue a soldier who posted the video.

The video also shows a Hebrew speech bubble coming out of the woman's mouth reading "Allahu Akbhar," Arabic for "God is greatest."

The Palestinian Authority has called the video a "disgusting illustration of the sick mentality of the occupier," a reference to Israel.

In a similar case earlier this year, a former Israeli soldier provoked Palestinian outrage for posting photographs of herself posing with Palestinian detainees on the Facebook social networking site. The Israeli military condemned her actions.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.