The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Hass was born in Jerusalem. She began her journalistic career in 1989 as a staff editor for Ha'Aretz and started to report from the occupied territories in 1991. As of 2003, she is the only full-time Jewish Israeli journalist who lives amongst the Palestinians, in Gaza from 1993 and in Ramallah from 1997.
During the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Hass published several very critical articles about the chaos and anarchy caused by the Fatah gangs of Yasser Arafat and the bloody war between Palestinian militias in Nablus.
Due to her frequent reporting of events or voicing of opinions contrary to the official Israeli position, Hass is often the target of verbal attack.