Jerusalem: The Israeli military on Monday said that it has disciplined a group of female soldiers who posed for photos in underwear and combat gear and posted the images on Facebook. The incident was the latest in a string of episodes involving young Israeli soldiers on social media that have drawn reprimand from the military.
Israeli news site Walla said the women were new recruits stationed on a base in southern Israel. One picture showed the soldiers removing their fatigue uniforms to expose their underwear and back sides. In another, five women posed in what appeared to be a barracks room, dressed only in helmets and a small amount of combat equipment. The faces of the soldiers were blurred in the photos.
In a statement, the military said the young women had acted in a manner that showed "unbecoming behavior" for Israeli soldiers. "The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fitting," it said. The statement did not identify the soldiers or give any details about the punishments.
Military officials said the base conducted educational lectures to keep soldiers from repeating the offence. Several times in recent years, the Israeli military has disciplined soldiers for what were considered improper postings in social media sites.
In a video posted to YouTube in 2010, a male Israeli soldier was filmed dancing suggestively around a blindfolded Palestinian woman. That incident followed the discovery of photos earlier that year showing a female soldier posing in front of Palestinian prisoners.
Shortly thereafter, the Israeli military banned soldiers from using social media sites while on base. The ban was an effort to prevent future embarrassing posts on social media. It remains unclear whether the ban is in effect. Early this year, another soldier was reprimanded for writing anti-Palestinian tweets and posting pictures to multiple social media services showing himself naked with a gun.
Most Jewish Israeli men and women are required to serve in the military, starting at age 18.