Israeli sources reported that the Israeli Defense Ministry issued an apology for a pregnant American reporter who was forced to be strip searched, humiliated, and forced into a X-Ray search machine, at a military roadblock while heading to Israel from Gaza.Israeli Ynet News reported that the reporter, identified as Lynsey Addario, who works for the New York Times, asked the soldiers not to force her to go through the X-Ray search machine because she is pregnant.
In a letter sent to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the reporter said that, despite her pleads, the soldiers forced her through the X-ray machine three times while laughing at her.
After the search, female soldiers took her to another room, and forced her to strip down to her underwear, the Ynet News added.
The reporter, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, wrote her letter on October 25, and stated in it that she was never humiliated like this when she worked in more than 60 countries around the globe.
The Ynet said that the Defense Ministry investigated the incident and found out that Addario made an official request not to go through the X-ray machine due to her pregnancy before she arrived at the terminal, “but the request was not properly relayed”.
The Israeli Defense Ministry issued an official apology to the reporter for what it described as “the mishap in coordination and the trouble it may have caused”.
The Ministry tried to excuse the behavior of the soldiers by stating that security measures are very tight on the border with Gaza in order “to prevent terrorist attacks from taking place in Israel”, but never explained the motive behind humiliating her.
Ethan Bronner, New York Times Bureau Chief in Israel, said that he is shocked by the way Addario was treated, and how long it took Israel to investigate the incident.
It is worth mentioning that Bronner, known for his support to Israel, has a son who joined the Israeli Army.
NYT’s Israel Editor’s Sticky Situation; Ethan Bronner’s Conflict With Impartiality