Friday, July 11, 2008

Mohammed Omer redux

The official Israeli report on "journalist" Mohammed Omer's allegations of brutality is here (h/t Soccer Dad.)
Mr. Mohammed Omer al-Mughaier (hereinafter "the Complainant") arrived at the Allenby Crossing on Thursday, 26 July 2008. Due to suspicion that he had been in contact with hostile elements and had been asked by them to deliver items to Judea and Samaria, both he and his baggage were searched. In contradiction to his claims, at no time was the Complainant subjected to either physical or mental violence.

The investigation revealed that the search of his baggage was conducted in the presence of four people and not eight, as he noted. The search was conducted, according to regulations, in a public place and in the view and presence of the Complainant.

The body search, which took several minutes, took place in the presence of two security personnel (a policeman and an ISA official) and was conducted according to the relevant regulations. The Complainant's claims to the effect that he was threatened at gunpoint are baseless.

Regarding the Complainant's collapse, as it were, it should be noted that the paramedic who attended to him found no evidence of a physical cause of collapse. The Complainant's behaviour raises doubts as to the sincerity of the situation. In any event, the Complainant was sent to an infirmary and an ambulance was ordered for him.

As to the Complainant's allegation that he was compelled to stand on his feet for twelve hours, we point out that according to our records, the Complainant arrived at the Allenby Crossing at approximately 11:00, and the entire incident ended at approximately 14:00. Thus, this claim is also baseless.

We should point out that there are numerous additional contradictions in the Complainant's allegations. For example, in the media he reported that he was humiliated, stripped and that a gun was held to his head. And yet, in his complaint filed with the IDF Spokesperson, the Complainant claimed that two uniformed personnel sprayed his face [and nothing about a gun - EoZ]

In conclusion, the Complainant's grievances were investigated and found to be without foundation. At no time was the Complainant subjected to either physical or mental violence; he was treated fairly. We can only regret that his allegations received publicity and a platform without being properly investigated.
Omer didn't claim to have stood up for 12 hours in Pilger's report; but he did say:
I had now been without food and water and the toilet for 12 hours, and having been made to stand, my legs buckled. I vomited and passed out. All I remember is one of them gouging, scraping and clawing with his nails at the tender flesh beneath my eyes. He scooped my head and dug his fingers in near the auditory nerves between my head and eardrum. The pain became sharper as he dug in two fingers at a time. Another man had his combat boot on my neck, pressing into the hard floor. I lay there for over an hour. The room became a menagerie of pain, sound and terror."
This is not a description of facts; this is a fantasy of a fanatic Israel-basher tailored to an audience of those who will believe anything evil about Israel.

Honest Reporting (UK) notes:
As in many previous cases (see HonestReporting's "The Big Lies" interactive presentation for some of the most infamous), a Palestinian claim has been taken at face value by a media keen to fit the story to a preconceived narrative that portrays Israel as a serial human rights abuser.
Soccer Dad notes that calling Omer a "journalist" is stretching it; he is a propagandist who will vilify Israel on the flimsiest testimony.