Ynet, the Web site of Israel’s largest-circulation daily Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Wednesday four separate incidents in which unidentified soldiers accused comrades of treating Palestinian corpses disrespectfully.

“On the surface, it appears we are speaking of serious actions the Israeli army strongly condemns,” the military said in a statement.

'Abhorrent' behaviour

In one incident that took place in the Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers put a cigarette in the mouth of the severed head of a Palestinian human bomber and photographed each other next to it.

In another case, soldiers snapped pictures next to the remains of a Palestinian policeman shot and killed in a jeep near the West Bank city of Nablus, and one soldier said he was disgusted to see his comrades celebrating, Ynet reported.

More than 3000 Palestinians have
died since the latest uprising began

In an incident in 2003, soldiers killed a Palestinian, strapped his corpse to a vehicle and drove to their base, where troops photographed the body and joked about it, a former member of the military unit was quoted as saying.

All the alleged incidents occurred in the course of the Palestinian uprising that began four years ago.

The army said one case was under formal investigation and it would examine the others.

Matan Vilnai, a lawmaker from the main opposition Labour Party, called on the army to treat the allegations with severity.

“There should be zero tolerance of this kind of behaviour,” Vilnai, a former general, told Army Radio.