As a journalist in the First Intifada, I learned not to believe what the IDF says

November 7, 2018
In March 1987, Oren Cohen, then a reporter in the occupied territories, received a tip about a female Palestinian detainee who had been tortured and had a miscarriage in prison. The police denied she even existed, until Cohen broke the story and exposed their lies. Today, he says, no one would even care.

sraeli journalist Oren Cohen (Oren Ziv/

Meron Rapoport writes in 972 Magazine, “The film industry loves the press. The investigative journalist, the lone wolf who receives a call late at night from an unknown source speaking in a hoarse voice: “Wait for me at the corner of a dark street, I’ll be wearing sunglasses, I have something to tell you.” That’s when the intrepid journalist sets out to expose the truth.

Reality, it turns out, usually looks quite different. In the case of Oren Cohen, it was nearly the opposite of the classic imagery. A reporter for the now defunct Israeli daily Hadashot, Hazan’s biggest scoop was exposing the story of Naila Ayesh, a young Palestinian woman who was arrested while pregnant, tortured to the point of miscarriage, and denied medical treatment. Israel’s defense establishment remained silent about her arrest for a month.”…

“The publication helped Ayesh a great deal; she was taken to a medical examination for the first time the following day, after requesting one for weeks. She was released on bail a few days later. Her story is now featured in Just Vision’s new film, “Naila and the Uprising.”” (More…)

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