Why Are Israeli Soldiers Playing With Women's Lingerie In Gaza?

Amid escalating tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recent social media posts by Israeli soldiers have sparked outrage and intensified scrutiny of Israel's actions in Gaza.

Oshi Saxena
New Update

(Photo: Screengrab/Reuters)

Amid escalating tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recent social media posts by Israeli soldiers have sparked outrage and intensified scrutiny of Israel's actions in Gaza. These posts, which show Israeli soldiers engaging in demeaning behaviour with lingerie and mannequins found in Palestinian homes, have created a dissonant visual record of the conflict, further aggravating an already volatile situation.


The Controversial Footage

At the heart of the controversy lies a video that has circulated widely online, showing an Israeli soldier sitting leisurely in a room within Gaza, brandishing a firearm in one hand while teasingly dangling a piece of white satin lingerie over the open mouth of a fellow soldier lying on a sofa. Elsewhere, another soldier is perched atop a tank, crudely showcasing a female mannequin adorned in lingerie and making light-hearted remarks about finding a "beautiful wife" amidst the devastation of war.


These images, circulated on social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, have garnered significant attention, with some posts amassing hundreds of thousands of views. The widespread dissemination of these videos, facilitated by Younis Tirawi, a Palestinian reporter with a substantial online following, has drawn condemnation from various quarters.

International Response and Legal Implications

UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani has condemned the actions depicted in these posts, asserting that they are demeaning not only to Palestinian women but to all women. Legal experts have also weighed in, suggesting that such behavior may potentially breach international law.

Ardi Imseis, an assistant professor of law at Queen's University in Canada, has pointed to Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates that civilians, especially women, are entitled to respect for their honour, family rights, and customs during wartime. Imseis argues that the Israeli soldiers' actions, as depicted in these social media posts, violate this provision and constitute a breach of international humanitarian law.


Israel's Response and Accountability

In response to inquiries from Reuters regarding the authenticity of these posts, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued a statement affirming that they investigate incidents deviating from the expected conduct of IDF soldiers. However, the IDF declined to specify whether any disciplinary action had been taken against the soldiers responsible for the controversial posts.

While the IDF has acknowledged that some of the behaviour exhibited in these videos is deemed inappropriate, they have stopped short of addressing the broader implications of such actions in the context of international law and ethical conduct.

The Larger Context

These social media posts emerge against the backdrop of a protracted and deeply entrenched conflict between Israel and Hamas, with both sides facing allegations of grave war crimes. A recent report by a team of UN experts highlighted instances of sexual violence, including rapes and gang rapes, allegedly perpetrated during an attack by Hamas. Similarly, there have been allegations of similar offenses against Palestinians by the IDF. The lingerie and mannequin posts, while seemingly trivial in comparison to the reported atrocities committed by both parties, nonetheless stress the need for greater accountability and respect for international humanitarian law.

The recent social media posts by Israeli soldiers have sparked controversy and highlighted the complicated dynamics involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The outrage generated by these images is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are deeper issues at play, such as accountability, respect for human rights, and adherence to international law. As the world watches, the onus remains on all parties involved to uphold the dignity and rights of civilians caught in the crossfire of this enduring conflict.

Personal views expressed by the author are their own

Israeli soldiers israel - Gaza war hamas hostages