A former IDF soldier who danced around a bound Palestinian female security
suspect and who caused a firestorm of controversy says he “may have” humiliated
the woman, Ihsan Dabavasha, but that the media has blown his act out of
“I don’t think I committed a war crime. Maybe I humiliated
her, yes, but it’s not a crime. I’m being treated like a war criminal. It was
not a big deal,” the soldier, named as Avi Yaakobov, said in an interview
published in Ma’ariv on Sunday.
In the December 2007 video, Yaakobov is
seen belly dancing around a bound and blindfolded Dabavasha, who had been
arrested for trying to stab a soldier, as a Middle Eastern drum beat plays in
The video was taken at an IDF base in Gush
The ex-soldier was punished by his commanding officer and jailed
for three weeks for the dance.
Yaakobov said he had tried and failed to
get the video removed from YouTube over the past two two years.
now 24, works as a sales adviser.
He said during the interview that he
had begun dancing at the recommendation of a friend who was in the area with a
“At first I didn’t agree,” Yaakobov said.
The video has
been slammed by the IDF as exhibiting “totally unacceptable behavior.”