After his family was murdered by an Israeli soldier in Gaza, Omar, now 18, left home and took up arms against Israel.
He fought alongside a group of young Palestinians, including his father, who were killed along with a Palestinian.
As a teenager, Omar joined a group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which was formed in 2006 to fight the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Omar later said he saw the PFLP as a form of resistance.
The group was led by a young Palestinian activist, Fadi Abu-Salha, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in 2009.
Omar then joined a PFLM youth wing called al-Hassan, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) was also present in the area at the time.
Omar said he was targeted in a retaliatory airstrike in September 2015, when he and his father were trying to flee.
Omar says that in that attack, his father was shot and killed in the leg by an enemy soldier, and that the soldier then threw him to the ground and shot him several times.
“I saw the man who was in front of me, and then I saw the soldier shoot him,” Omar told Vice News.
“And he told me: ‘We will kill you, we will kill your father, you are the enemy.'” “
“I was scared, because I was still afraid of him, I was scared that he would kill me, that he might kill my father.
“And he told me: ‘We will kill you, we will kill your father, you are the enemy.'”
Omar says he never saw his father again.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) later designated al-Khayr al-Qusayr as a “terrorist organization.”
The PA then announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers.
Omar, who says he was 16 at the same time, says he has since been recruited by ISIS.
He says that after his father’s death, his mother and sisters, who are in their 20s, left for Turkey to escape their family’s persecution.
“They [ISIS] didn’t care about the children,” Omar said.
“It was all about money, and they wanted to buy a plane ticket and leave.”
Omar says his recruitment to ISIS began after he returned to Gaza from Turkey.
“At the time, the money was not there,” he said.
After his father died, Omar’s brother began to work with a Hamas-linked group, the Islamic Resistance Front (IRF), to provide support for the group.
The IRF is a group formed in 2015 to fight against the Israeli military occupation of Gaza.
After the group’s leader, Mohammed al-Awwad, was killed by Israeli forces in 2014, Omar said, “I knew something was wrong.”
Omar said his group’s goal was to set up a resistance organization to fight Israeli forces and defend the rights of Palestinians.
“The group had no money,” he told VICE News.
Omar was a member of the group until its disbanding in the early 2020s, he said, but he believes the group was eventually killed by a rival group that merged with it.
Omar told VICE Sports that he has not heard from his group since then.
“ISIS and al-Qaeda are in the Palestinian arena now,” he says.
“We were killed by them, but the [Palestinian] resistance and the people of Gaza are not afraid.”
After returning home, Omar continued to join PFLS and to participate in the PFA youth wing.
Omar also became an active member of a youth wing of Hamas-affiliated Islamic Jihad that was established in 2006.
Omar believes he was recruited into the group in order to fight Israel.
“If you are an ISIS member, you will be in the group,” he tells VICE News, “because the group will take care of you.”
He said he eventually left the group and began to join the Islamic Jihad, but in the late 2020s he was involved in a dispute with one of the other leaders of the youth wing, Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, who became a rival leader to Omar.
Abu-Khoury said that Omar was among a group that defected to the Islamic State and then tried to kill him, after he defected from the group, according to an ISIS document obtained by VICE News and reviewed by VICE Sports.
Omar claims that he and other fighters in the Islamic Jam had the opportunity to join an ISIS-affiliated group called Al-Muhajiroun, which was active in Syria in the mid-2000s.
“This was before ISIS, and we [al-Mushayy] had a chance to fight ISIS,” Omar says.
“[Al-Mushi] was the first group that joined ISIS and that’s why [Al-Khaidar] was