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      Defense Ministry Apologizes to NYT Journalist

      Defense Ministry apologizes to a pregnant news photographer who said she was humiliated by soldiers during a security check.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 11/29/2011, 6:15 AM

      IDF soldiers in Gaza (archive)
      IDF soldiers in Gaza (archive)
      Flash 90

      Israel’s Defense Ministry has apologized for the treatment of a pregnant American news photographer, who said she was humiliated by Israeli soldiers during a security check.

      According to report by The Associated Press on Monday, the photographer, Lynsey Addario, was on assignment for The New York Times and had requested that she not be forced to go through an X-ray machine as she entered Israel from Gaza, because of concerns for her unborn baby.

      Addario claimed in a letter she wrote to the ministry that she was forced through the machine three times as soldiers “watched and laughed from above.”

      Addario said in the letter, which was sent on October 25, that she had never been treated with “such blatant cruelty.”

      In its apology, AP reported, the Defense Ministry said that an investigation found that the search followed procedures but noted that Addario’s request to avoid the X-ray machine had not been properly relayed.

      “We would like to apologize for this particular mishap in coordination and any trouble it may subsequently have caused to those involved,” the ministry was quoted as having said.

      The ministry also said that security is tight on the border with Gaza “in order to prevent terror from targeting and reaching Israel’s citizens.”

      The Defense Ministry has “decided to hone the procedure for foreign journalists,” the apology said.

      In March, Addario was one of four journalists captured in Libya by forces loyal to former Muammar Qaddafi and held for six days.