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Thursday
Jul212011

'Bra-Gate' Angers Foreign Press in Israel

Jim Hollander/Pool/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- The Foreign Press Association in Israel blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office Thursday, after the security team forced several female journalists to take off their bras before being allowed into press events. The incidents follow a similar episode in January dubbed "Bra-gate" by the Israeli press when a female reporter for Al Jazeera was denied entrance to a Netanyahu press conference for refusing to remove her bra, after already taking off other items of clothing.

The FPA said that it condemned the "continued harassment" of journalists and said it would be discussing whether its members should continue covering events at the prime minister's office.

"In the past two days, three female reporters in separate incidents were forced to undress, remove their bras and have them placed through an X-ray machine in front of a group of colleagues," the statement read. "In addition, pocketbooks were emptied in public, with personal items also put on display and X-rayed for everyone to see."

"This type of treatment is unnecessary, humiliating and counterproductive. After repeated appeals and promises by security officials it appears that the Prime Minister's Office does not have the desire to stop this happening," the statement said.

The FPA said that it is only at the prime minister's office that this type of intrusive scrutiny occurs.

The prime minister's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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