If the IDF was upset Sunday about a provocative picture of female soldiers in their unmentionables uploaded to Facebook, now it really has a reason to get its panties in a bunch.
Several more photos of the soldiers surfaced on social media Monday, showing them in their barracks wearing only their underwear and their M-16s. The story has attracted attention across the globe, with the British tabloid The Sun putting the pictures on its front page under the headline “Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli military said Sunday that it had disciplined the soldiers who, it says, are new recruits.
The incident was the latest in a string of episodes involving young Israeli soldiers on social media that have drawn reprimands from the military.
The story has been shared widely in the Arab media, albeit often with a heavily censored version of the photograph.
In a similar picture from 2012, five women posed in what appeared to be a barracks room, dressed only in helmets and their combat vests. The faces of the soldiers were blurred in the photos.
The IDF told The Times of Israel the young women had acted in a manner that showed “unbecoming behavior” for Israeli soldiers. “The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fit,” 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 offense.
Several times in recent years, the Israeli military has disciplined soldiers for what were considered improper postings on 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 is unclear whether the ban is still 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.