Israel’s Defense Ministry has apologized to photojournalist Lynsey Addario after soldiers subjected her to a humiliating strip search at a Gaza Strip checkpoint several weeks ago, according to an Associated Press report. The search occurred after Addario, who is pregnant, was forced to pass three times through an X-ray machine, despite the concerns she expressed for her unborn baby.
Addario complained in a letter to the Defense Ministry that before arriving at the checkpoint, she had asked not to go through the machine because of her pregnancy. She said soldiers “watched and laughed from above” as she was forced through the machine, and that she had never been treated with “such blatant cruelty,” according to AP.
A Pulitzer-winning photojournalist who has worked in more than 60 countries, Addario has endured some rough treatment in the past. Last spring, she was groped by forces loyal to deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi after they captured her along with three other journalists working for The New York Times.
Addario was on assignment again for The New York Times when she was mistreated by Israeli soldiers at the Gaza checkpoint.
“We would like to apologize for this particular mishap,” the Defense Ministry said, explaining that security was tight on the Gaza border “to prevent terror from targeting and reaching Israel’s citizens.” The Ministry said that Addario’s request to avoid the X-ray machine had not been handled properly, according to the AP report.
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