MIDEAST: Israelis Assault Award Winning IPS Journalist
By Mel Frykberg
GAZA CITY, Jun 28 (IPS) - Mohammed Omer, the Gaza correspondent of IPS, and joint winner of the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, was strip-searched at gunpoint, assaulted and abused by Israeli security officials at the Allenby border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on Thursday as he tried to return home to Gaza.
Omer...was... taken to a room by Israel's domestic intelligence agency the Shin Bet, where he was isolated for an hour and a half without explanation.
...he was ordered to strip naked.
"At first I refused but then I had an M16 (gun) pointed in my face and my clothes were forcibly removed, even my underwear," Omer said.
At this point Omer broke down and pleaded for an end to such treatment. He said he was told, "you haven't seen anything yet." Every cavity of his body was searched as one of the investigators pinned him down on the floor, placing his boot on Omer's neck. Omer began vomiting, and fainted.
When he came round his eyelids were being forcibly opened and his eardrums probed by an Israeli military doctor, who was also armed. He was then dragged along the floor by his feet by the Shin Bet officials, with his head repeatedly banging on the floor, to a Palestinian ambulance which had been called.
"I eventually woke up in a Palestinian hospital with the doctors trying to reassure me," Omer told IPS.
Land & Building Fund Donations
Less Applicable Transaction Fees
reflects cleared transactions
& donations before expenses
to the Christian Commons Project™