The Israeli Defense Ministry issued an apology Monday, for mistreating Pulitzer Prize-winning American news photographer, Lynsey Addario, who was in Israel recently on a New York Times assignment.
Addario, who is pregnant, was forced by Israeli security personnel at a Gaza checkpoint to go through an X-ray machine thrice, despite repeated protestations of her condition and requests to forgo the X-ray check out of her concern for her unborn baby. She was then ordered into a room where a female worker asked to her strip down to her underwear.
An understandably upset Addario wrote a letter to the Israeli Defense Ministry on Oct. 25, complaining of the blatant cruelty and accusing the soldiers who watched and laughed from above as she was being harassed with repeated X-ray checks.
The Defense Ministry said that security checks were part of routine procedure but did admit that Addario's request to dispense with X-ray machine was not granted.
We would like to apologize for this particular mishap in coordination and any trouble it may subsequently have caused to those involved, the ministry said in a statement, according to an AP report. The ministry also tried to explain the situation, saying that security was tight on the border with Gaza in order to prevent terror from targeting and reaching Israel's citizens.
Addario was one of four Times journalists who went missing in Libya in March. The Gadhafi government freed them after five days on captivity. Addario reported she received death threats and was groped repeatedly while in captivity.