Israeli Soldiers Dance With West Bank Palestinians, But Military Authorities Spoil The Party

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In what looks like an inspiring display of common humanity, but is being treated by Israeli military brass as a severe dereliction of duty, a group of elite Israeli soldiers ditched their patrol in the West Bank city of Hebron earlier this week and got down Gangnam Style with a group of partying young Palestinans.

While Hebron has long been a hot spot for clashes between Israeli’s occupying army and Palestinian residents on the West Bank, a video of the dance party posted to YouTube seems to indicate that the warring cultures may have more in common than their leaders would like to admit.

The soldiers, reportedly part of the Israeli Defense Force’s elite anti-terrorism unit known as the Givati Brigade, were patrolling the Jabara section of the city Monday night when they heard the distinctive beat of Gangnam Style by Psy emanating from a nightclub believed by Israelis to attract a crowd sympathetic to the radical Islamic Hamas organization.

But the soldiers went in not to fight but to dance. The Palestinian revelers, who were celebrating a wedding, welcomed the soldiers, even hoisting one on to their shoulders as part of the dance. The soldiers, still wearing their flak jackets and helmets, gyrated to the electronic beats, one even waving his assault rifle in time with the rhythm.

Their superiors, however, were not nearly as jovial when word of the impromptu rave reached headquarters.

"The IDF views this as a serious incident,” Israel’s military authorities said in a written statement. “The soldiers exposed themselves to unnecessary danger and were disciplined accordingly,"

The soldiers have been suspended from duty pending the IDF’s investigation.

SOURCES: Jerusalem Post, CNN