London, Nov 13 : An Israeli soldier has been jailed for three weeks because he yawned during an official ceremony. The soldier, who has not been identified, yawned loudly during a memorial event last week for the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The commander of the Ramat David Israel Air Force base was delivering a speech at the time.
Speaking on Israeli public radio, the soldier's mother said her son had yawned without covering his mouth, The Telegraph reported.
She added that the commander spotted him, halted his speech and later ordered he be punished for his disrespect.
Haaretz newspaper quoted a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces as saying that the soldier was tried for his "disrespectful act" and sentenced to 21 days in military prison.
He added that the soldier is able to request a pardon, which "will be considered according to military regulations."
His mother pleaded that while he deserved to be punished, the penalty was disproportionately harsh. She said that her son had been brought up respecting Rabin and that "yawning is known to be an uncontrollable physical act."
Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by an extremist who opposed the Israeli peace process with the Palestinians.