Swiss Reporter Forced to Strip at Gaza Checkpoint
Nevermind the gawking IDF soldiers and the multiple strategically placed high definition movie cameras, we were just trying to protect ourselves!
A Swiss journalist was forced by private security personnel to strip down to her underwear and pass through an x-ray machine at the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip six times on Friday.Sounds like the private security contractors advising the US military in Iraq.
The security check was carried out by private security personnel but Israel Defense Forces soldiers were securing the border terminal and therefore looking on at the time.
The Foreign Press Association in Israel issued a statement Saturday condemning the incident.
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The FPA is demanding an explanation regarding the incident, and said the reporter, Karin Wenger, was unnecessarily humiliated and delayed.
"In light of security warnings in the Strip, meticulous inspections are necessary at the crossing. We regret the distress that the journalist experienced. A meeting will be held to determine whether the security checks can be improved," a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said Saturday.
She went on to say that according to regulations at the crossing, only female security personnel check women, and males search men.
The Defense Ministry has been responsible for securing the Erez crossing since January; security checks are conducted by a civilian company that won the tender and security is provided by IDF soldiers.