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Israeli Soldier Defends Facebook Prisoner Photos

A former Israeli soldier says she did not see the harm of posting pictures of herself posing with handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees on the popular social networking site Facebook.

In an interview with Israeli Army Radio Tuesday, Eden Abergil said posting the photos was not a "political statement."

Abergil says the pictures were taken to "remember her experience" in the army. She said the photos were taken in 2008 at a base where Palestinians trying to cross the Gaza border into Israel were often taken for questioning.

Abergil uploaded the photos several weeks ago to the social media website under the title: "The army: the best days of my life."

One picture shows the former reserve soldier smiling next to three bound and blindfolded prisoners. In another photo, Abergil is sitting next to a prisoner, with her head tilted toward him.

Israeli media published the images Monday. Abergil has since removed the photos from her Facebook page, but the photos can be viewed on the Internet on various news websites and blogs.

Israeli army officials said the pictures were "shameful," and will be investigated by military officials.

Palestinian groups said the images are "humiliating," and "show the mentality of the occupier."

Abergil has completed her mandatory military service in Israel, and is now a civilian.

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