Dancing, Lies and Videotape

crying palestinianMuch has been made of the YouTube video showing an IDF soldier belly dancing against a blindfolded palestinian woman, the latest example of some present and former IDF soldiers acting against the moral code of the army. These actions are morally wrong, and have caused great damage to Israel and the IDF, for which they are to be condemned – as they have been by Israelis, including the Israeli government and the IDF.

But it is also clear that once again, the palestinians are trying to milk this incident for all its worth, and are resorting to lying and embellishment to do so.

Ekhsan Debabseh, the palestinian woman shown in the video, was interviewed by various media outlets, to which she gave varying accounts as to exactly what happened.

Version 1:

Ekhsan Debabseh says she filed a complaint with Israel human rights group against soldier seen dancing around her as she stands handcuffed, blindfolded; adds she plans to seek damages

The Palestinian women depicted in a YouTube video posted by an IDF solider plans to sue him for damages, Ynet learned Wednesday.

The video, which has caused a media storm in the Arab world and Israel alike, featured he soldier featured dancing around a handcuffed and blindfolded female prisoner, while his comrades encourage him.

“I could feel that they were making fun of me despite being blindfolded. They humiliated me,” 25-year-old Ekhsan Debabseh told Ynet.

Debabseh was detained on December 2007, and after her interrogation at the Gush Etzion detention center, she was taken out into the hallway, handcuffed and blindfolded.

“I heard music and soldiers laughing. I felt like I was being photographed and tried, with mu hand tied, to life the blindfold and I caught a glimpse of them. Once of the soldiers came over, smacked me over the head and tied the blindfold tighter, so I won’t be able to lift it.”

She said she begged the soldiers to stop but they ignored her. “It was extremely humiliating. I felt helpless.”

Debabseh added that since her release from prison, where she served a 22-month sentence after being found of having an affiliation with Islamic Jihad, and until the clip hit the televised airwaves, she was unaware of it being on YouTube. The video has received over 500,000 hits so far.

“I don’t have internet access and I had no idea it existed until it was on al-Jazeera yesterday. That’s when I saw it for the first time. I was shocked and even more humiliated. I couldn’t sleep all night. The pictures kept flashing in my head.”

Version 2:

The victim in the latest scandal of an Israeli soldier filmed dancing around a bound Palestinian woman said she will sue the Israeli army over the humiliation she underwent.

Israeli channel 10 broadcasted on Tuesday a Youtube clip showing an Israeli soldier dancing around a blindfolded and cuffed Palestinian woman who was forced to face a wall.

The woman, Ihsan Dababisa, 35, from the Al-Khalil village of Nuba said: “I saw the tape on the Jazeerah channel and I couldn’t sleep all night. I was deeply humiliated. The sound of the soldiers laughing and the music was roaring in my ears.”

“I called the Palestinian Prisoners Society, and we will file a case against the soldier and the Israeli army,” Dababisa went on to say.

She said she was arrested on October 11, 2007 on charges of affiliation with the Islamic Jihad movement and was sentenced to 22 months in prison.

“The day I was arrested they took me and cuffed and blindfolded me, and took me to the Etzion detention center near the city of Bethlehem. After they questioned me and placed me in a corridor, they blindfolded and handcuffed me.”

“I heard the laughter and voices of soldiers and music. I was able to see them during the filming because the blindfold was not tied very tight, and I begged them to not tape me.”

“But they continued to tape me and were drinking alcohol and dancing. It was not one soldier. They were a group of soldiers.”

Version 3:

The Palestinian woman who was filmed, handcuffed and blindfolded as an Israeli soldier danced around her said Thursday that the video only showed the beginning of “a journey of torture and humiliation.”

A video of 24-year-old Ihsan Dababisa surfaced on YouTube on Monday, and was aired on Israel’s Channel 10 News. Dababisa spoke to Ma’an’s correspondent in her home in Nuba village, west of Hebron, and described the ordeal which followed her detention.

Dababisa said she was detained at Etzion checkpoint at 8 a.m. on 11 December 2007, and thrown into a military jeep, handcuffed and blindfolded. She was taken to the yard of Etzion detention center in front of a group of soldiers.

Moments later, she said, she heard loud music and one of the soldiers tried to touch her. She tried to stay close to the wall, and another soldier arrived with a bottle of wine, and offered her a drink. When she refused, but he continued to harass her, she said.

The soldiers then attacked her “like vicious dogs.”

“They began beating me with rifle butts and legs. One of the soldiers hit my head against the metal of the military jeep until I fainted. Then I found myself in front of a female doctor wearing military uniform. After examining me they moved me to the interrogation center where my journey of torture and humiliation started.

“The officer’s name who began to interrogate me was Beran. He threatened to demolish my family home and arrest my siblings, the interrogation lasted for two hours. After that I was transferred with my eyes blindfolded to another interrogation center, I think it was the Russian compound, where there were three interrogators.

“Soon after I came in they began insulting and cursing using words I do not want to say. One of the interrogators was pulling me from my hair. I was handcuffed the whole time. The interrogation lasted until 11 at night, then they transferred me to Hasharon prison where they accused me of trying to stab someone, and of affiliation with the Islamic Jihad. Lawyers from the prisoners’ society defended me and I was sentenced to 22 months in prison. I was released on 6 September 2009.”

More than a year after she was released, Dababisa saw herself on the news. “They were talking about me, I could not believe what I was seeing with my eyes. I was about to faint, I began to cry, I could not sleep all night for one moment. All of the memories while I was among a group of criminal sadist corrupted soldiers who were without feelings and humanity came to my head.”


  1. In the first version, the woman was  interrogated at the Gush Etzion detention center, and then taken out into the hallway, where she was handcuffed and blindfolded.  In the second version, she was taken to the detention center already handcuffed and blindfolded, questioned, and then placed in a corridor where she was handcuffed and blindfolded a second time. In the third version, she was taken to the detention center already handcuffed and blindfolded, and then taken to the yard of the detention center (without being handcuffed and blindfolded again), with the interrogation taking place after the events of the video.
  2. In the first version, she was blindfolded, but was able to temporarily lift the blindfold and catch a glimpse of the soldiers. In the second version, she was able to see everything during the filming because the blindfold was loose. In the third version, there is no mention of her seeing anything.
  3. In the first version, she was smacked by a soldier after lifting the blindfold. The second version contains no mention of any hitting. In the third version, there was extensive violence (and threats) perpetrated against her, both during the dancing incident, and during the subsequent interrogation. It is especially odd that she would not have mentioned this extreme violence in the other two interviews.
  4. In the first two versions, she begged the soldiers to stop, but not so in the third version.
  5. In the third version, one of the soldiers tried to touch her, but not so in the first two versions.
  6. In the third version, she was offered alcohol, but not so in the first two versions.
  7. Each version gives a different age for the woman.

This is yet another example of the palestinians making a mockery of the concept of truth in order to achieve their goals. The sad thing is, they will get away with it, unless those who truly care for the truth are able to look over what they say with a discerning eye, and influence others to do so.

With this in mind, please spread this post far and wide.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media