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Israeli reporter suspended after false story on Disney abduction

JTA

May 1, 2012 | 10:54 am

Entrance to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Entrance to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

An Israeli reporter was suspended after reporting on an unfounded story that an Israeli girl was briefly abducted at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Sivan Cohen of Israel’s Channel 10 had reported during Sunday’s news broadcast that a 9-year-old Israeli girl was taken from her parents and later found using security camera tapes in a bathroom stall drugged and with her head shaved. Cohen said the incident, which occurred over Passover, “sounds like an urban legend.”

On Monday night the station confirmed on the evening news that the story was false and that Cohen had been “misled” by a source—one of the allegedly abducted girl’s parents. Disney officials did not confirm the story.

The hoax reportedly is well known in the United States. 

“Cohen has been suspended until the examination into the circumstances that led to the story airing is concluded,” Channel 10 said in a statement.

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