Palestine: Journalist Mohammed Omer awarded, then beaten

Mohammed Omer is a young journalist from Rafah, a town in Gaza. Just a few weeks ago, at the age of 24, Omer was awarded the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Award for outstanding journalism for his reporting on Gaza. Upon his return, however, Omer was detained by Shin Beit, only to reappear half a day later in an ambulance. Israeli officials have admitted to detaining Omer, but have stated that he was held for “smuggling” and that his injuries were sustained when he “fell”. Photographs have emerged of Omer in his hospital bed, and bloggers have expressed their anger and concern.

DesertPeace was among the first to comment, and was outraged by the lack of media coverage:

A week ago my dear friend and Brother, Mohammed Omer, was nearly beaten to DEATH and tortured by Israeli Security officers.

This week, two Palestinian children were killed in cold blood by Israeli forces. Eight others were wounded.

Did you read about any of the above in any reports issued by the Associated Press?


The blogger also links to a podcast in which Omer is interviewed.

In the comments section, David Baldinger responds:

Omer’s bravery is awesome. I could not have endured this treatment. Even though the abuse was bad enough, what is also sad is that this occurred after his days of happiness abroad. This is one of those stories we should not let die. There is no excuse or explanation that can justify what was done to Omer. Maybe some good will come from the bad. This illustrates that the Israeli government lies and can’t be expected to control its forces.

Finally, Munich – and a little bit of everything commented on the podcast, saying:

Someone who listened to it said that this it is the most moving thing he has heard in a long time. It is Mohammed Omer speaking from his hospital bed to Nora Barrows-Friedman on Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio. She was in Palestine recently.

Man's inhumanity to man. You can only weep.

A petition to demand action can be found here.


  • B. Wise

    The Israeli government has denied beating and abusing Omer. They have denied holding him at gunpoint. The Palestinian doctor, Dr. Diaa Husseini, who examined Omer who examined him on his arrival to the hospital in Jericho said the journalist had no signs of physical injury, which he had claimed. The doctor said Omer had suffered a nervous breakdown brought on by emotional stress and was given stomach medication and released after two hours. Perhaps if you were not so quick to believe lies told by those with their own agenda, Peace might be closer at hand.

  • I am always puzzled as to why normally intelligent people rush to side with a Palestinian whatever the reason.

    Israel lives at war with terrorists from banned terrorist organisations who are supported by most of the Arab countries. These countries have always refused entry to the refugees and have failed to donate anything for their welfare. The terrorists live in the refugee camps knowing that Israel is reluctant to attack them in case they hurt the refugees. In fact, many Israeli soldiers have died trying to ensure the refugees safety!
    Hamas constantly shell Sederot with Katushka bombs filled with shrapnel. They will attack any area where there are Israeli children. May I also remind people that Israelis are not just Jews, they are also Christians and Arabs.

    The terrorists also kill Christians and are defiling holy places. Yet I hear nothing about any of these atrocities being condemned. It appears to be acceptable to murder or massacre anyone who is Israeli, regardless of who or what they are, if you are a Palestinian

    Kindly consider that Israel will never be in peace as the declared aim of all the terrorist organisations is the complete and utter destruction of Israel. And, as long as you accept blatant lies as the truth, you are perpetuating the myth that Jews are evil.

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