Israel has disciplined a group of soldiers for partying with Palestinians while armed and in uniform at a nightclub in the West Bank city of Hebron, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.
Israel’s Channel 2 television broadcast a film in which two helmeted soldiers, at least one armed with a rifle, were shown dancing with Palestinian young men clad in jeans and t-shirts, to a popular rock tune.
A Palestinian man could be seen twirling around with a soldier in uniform hoisted onto his shoulders, weapon in hand, as other men danced around them.
The report said the troops had ducked into the club while on foot patrol in the predominantly Palestinian city, a frequent flashpoint of tensions between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.
A military spokesman said in a statement that the army “views this as a serious incident.”
“The soldiers exposed themselves to unnecessary danger and were disciplined,” it said.
The television said the soldiers had been suspended from duty pending an investigation. There was no immediate comment from the army on that.
Military rules prohibit troops from letting down their guard and socializing with enemy civilians while on duty.
Several years ago soldiers were disciplined for filming a flash-mob style dance while on foot patrol in the same city, but that dance involved only the troops.
Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war, land where Palestinians seek a state, which is the goal of U.S.-backed peace talks resumed last month after a three-year stalemate.