Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Israel admiral's go-go bar regret

Israeli military chief Gabi Ashkenazi
Israel's top military officer, Gabi Ashkenazi, reprimanded the navy chief

The commander of the Israeli navy has apologised in a letter to the military chief of staff after being spotted in a strip club in Tel Aviv.

Admiral Eli Marom described it as a one-off mistake and not in keeping with values expected of him as an officer.

He was seen by witnesses at the Go-Go Girls club in Allenby Street on Monday.

The letter delivered on Tuesday apologised for damage caused to the military's image. Reports say he was verbally reprimanded but not punished.

Adm Marom, who is married with three children, was appointed commander of the Israeli navy in August 2007. His predecessor resigned in the wake of the 2006 Lebanon war.

Conflicting reports have emerged of the incident. Adm Marom claims he popped into the club to say hello to a friend who was holding a party there.

But a witness told the Haaretz daily that the officer came to the club by himself in civilian clothes and stayed for about half an hour.

Israeli news website Ynet reported he had been smoking a cigar, drinking alcohol and surrounded by bare-chested women.

Although Adm Marom is not accused of committed any crime, some commentators have expressed concerns that lower ranking commanders have been penalised for actions that strayed from the military's values in the past.

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