Soldier who danced around detainee: It wasn't a war crime

Former IDF soldier was filmed dancing around a bound Palestinian female security suspect in 2007.

October 18, 2010 02:37
1 minute read.


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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 proportion.

“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.

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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 background.

The video was taken at an IDF base in Gush Etzion.

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.

Yaakobov, 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 cellphone.

“At first I didn’t agree,” Yaakobov said.

The video has been slammed by the IDF as exhibiting “totally unacceptable behavior.”

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