The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has caused a stir by posting a picture of two male soldiers holding hands on its official Facebook page.

The photo was posted in celebration of Pride month. The caption below the image reads: “It’s Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?”

More than 7,000 people have liked the picture, over 5,000 shared it and more that 1,000 commented on it since the image was posted.

One man commented, “This is an absolute disgrace and represents everything that is sick and perverted about Israel. Shame on these degenerates!” while another said, “Fantastic to see this and the support of the military”.

Israel allowed gay soldiers to serve openly in the military from as far back as 1993.

Despite this, a 2011 survey found that only 32 percent of IDF soldiers had come out to their colleagues and commanders.

It also revealed that 40 percent had been verbally abused and four percent reported being physically abused.

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