IDF Says Al Jazeera Reporter Is Hamas Commander Who Was Present at Oct. 7 Massacre

Al Jazeera journalist Ismail Abu Omar (@AydinHaikin1/X)
February 14, 2024

An Al Jazeera reporter wounded Tuesday during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza is a Hamas commander who recorded a video on Oct. 7 from within Israel praising Hamas’s terrorist attack, the Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday.

Ismail Abu Omar has been serving as a deputy company commander for Hamas’s eastern battalion in the southern city of Khan Younis, while being employed by the Qatari state-owned news network, according to IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee. 

On Oct. 7, Abu Omar filmed a short clip of himself in Israel’s Kibbutz Nir Oz praising Hamas’s surprise invasion of Israeli towns. Hamas terrorists killed roughly 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, and kidnapped 240 more that day.

During an Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza yesterday, Abu Omar was severely injured and had to get his right foot amputated, according to Dr. Muhammad al-Astal at the Gaza Strip’s European Hospital. Al Jazeera cameraman Ahmad Matar also suffered injuries during the attack.

The revelation of Abu Omar’s alleged role in Hamas came three days after the IDF exposed another Al Jazeera journalist, Mohammed Wishah, who had secretly served as a "prominent commander" in Hamas. "In the morning, a journalist on Al Jazeera, and in the evening, a terrorist in Hamas!" Adraee said. 

In January, IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari presented evidence showing that two Al Jazeera journalists killed by the IDF had been members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another terrorist organization.