Event #2675 Mohammed Omer tortured by Shin Bet officers at the Allenby crossing Date: Thursday, 26 Jun 2008
Mohammed Omer reports:
Realizing I was again conscious thou barely the Israeli broadened his assault, scooping my head and digging his fingers in near the auditory nerves between my head and ear drum. Rather then
render first aid, which is the protocol and international law in instances whether prisoners of war or civilians, the soldier broadened his assault. The pain became sharper as he dug is nails, two
fingers at a time into my neck, grazing my carotid artery and again challenging my consciousness before pummeling my chest with his full weight and strength. I estimate I lay on the floor
approximately one hour and twenty minutes and I continued to vomit for what seemed like a half hour. Severely dehydrated, focusing took flight and the room became a menagerie of pain, sound and
terror. The stench further exasperated and seemed to inflame my captors further. I couldn't move, speak or shout. I felt tears fall and vomit, but my tongue seemed dislodged. Words would not come.
The last thing I remember before losing consciousness again was the choleric incantation of my name in Hebrew, 'Mohammed ata shome!' demanding, 'Mohammed do you hear?'
Her pleas fell without sympathy, met with orders from Israeli soldiers telling her to leave. All around me I heard Israeli voices and then one placed his combat boot on my neck pressing
into the hard floor. I remember choking, feeling the outline of his shoe and in my increasing delirium thought for a moment perhaps someone was rendering aid. Reality destroyed that hope. Around me,
like men watching a sporting match I heard laughing and goading, a gang rape of verbal and physical violence meted by men entrenched in hatred and rage. As the beating, scratching and assaults
continued, I was sure my body and face must look more like a football than a man. I again lost consciousness and awoke to find myself being dragged by my feet on my back through my vomit on the
floor, my head bouncing on the pavement and body sweeping to-and-fro like a mop. Humanity or the capacity to be human seemed void within the souls in charge of my body. What causes men to hate so?
After my employment as a human mop, I was transferred to a wheelchair, thou my full faculties had yet to return. I did not realize yet that I had been transferred to a military clinic for Israeli
soldiers. Later I would discover on my chest several stickers in Hebrew marking the place where the paddles from the defibulator interacted with my heart as the doctors attempted to revive me. Not
getting the response they wanted, they forced my eyes open and still I did not awaken.
My treating physician Dr. Diaa Al Hussieni explained to me that the combination of high pressure, stress and exhaustion were the reasons my body gave out and what I experienced was a
nervous breakdown. This is what caused the vomiting. Rest was required and I should seek medical attention in Gaza in addition to getting medication for the chest, stomach and neck pain. Given the
shortages in Gaza of all medical supplies, I wasn't sure if this would be possible. It turned out to be irrelevant. Due to the damage to my neck, I had difficulty swallowing anything. I wouldn't be
able to take medication even if I had it.
Mohammed Omer reports in July 2008:
This summer, at age 24, I was honored to learn that I had become the youngest journalist to receive the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, named for the famed American war reporter and awarded to journalists who counter propaganda with the truth. Although Israel has sealed Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinians in what many now call the world's largest open-air prison, Dutch MP Hans Van Baalen lobbied the Israeli government to let me leave Gaza to receive my award in person. Upon my return from London, I was surrounded by Israeli security officers. I was stripped naked at gunpoint, interrogated, kicked and beaten for more than four hours. At one point I fainted and then awakened to fingernails gouging at the flesh beneath my eyes. An officer crushed my neck beneath his boot and pressed my chest into the floor. Others took turns kicking and pinching me, laughing all the while. They dragged me by my feet, sweeping my head through my own vomit. I lost consciousness. I was told later that they transferred me to a hospital only when they thought I might die. Today, I have difficulty breathing. I have abrasions and scratches on my chest and neck. My hands don't function well; typing is difficult. My doctor informed me that due to nerve damage from one kick, I may be unable to father children and will need to have an operation.«
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