Tuesday, September 22, 2020

13 Years Later: Israel denies IDF shot child dead

By Tadas Blinda - May 29, 2013
Section: [Main News] [Videos]
Tags: [Gaza] [IDF] [interrogation] [Shifa Hospital]

13 years after the death of Muhammad al-Dura, an icon of the Second Intifada, a new Israeli report claims IDF fire did not kill or injure him. 

According to French television France 2’s report, presented by journalist Charles Enderlin on 30 September 2000, Muhammad al-Dura, together with his father Jamal, were hiding behind a concrete water barrel after they were caught in the crossfire between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters in the beginning of the Second Intifada in Gaza.  In the video report, young Muhammad is shown crouching behind his father and crying out of fear when both he and his father were shot by the Israeli forces, according to the original report by Charles Enderlin. The France 2 broadcast aired on the same day, showing the boy dying in the arms of his injured father, Jamal. Muhammad al-Dura became a symbol of the Second Intifada when the video instantly went viral across the world’s media outlets.
Muhammad’s dead body was reportedly seen by local reporters later that same day at Shifa hospital in Gaza City, where his body, along with his injured father, was taken after the shooting. Jamal al-Dura was later transported to a hospital in Amman by Jordanian authorities, where he underwent an intensive three-month treatment before finally recovering. 
In September 2012, 12 years after the incident, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered an investigative panel to examine the aforementioned video. “The France 2 report's central claims and accusations had no basis in the material which the station had in its possession at the time…There is no evidence that the IDF was in any way responsible for causing any of the alleged injuries to Jamal or the boy," the panel’s report issued on 19 May states.
“Since that day, the narrative spawned by the France 2 report has served as an inspiration and justification for terrorism, anti-Semitism, and the delegitimization of Israel,” the report argues.
After reviewing the raw footage from the France 2 report, the committee claims that in the final scenes, which were not included in the report, Muhammad is alive. The report even goes as far as claiming that the young boy and his father were not struck by bullets at all. It additionally suggests that the video is staged and fabricated to harm Israel’s reputation in the eyes of the international community.
"Israel says my son isn't dead. Can you imagine how this feels for a father who has lost his child? They have all the technology tools in the world. He's not dead? Then bring him to me," Jamal al-Dura said in an interview with The Guardian on 23 May.  
Oddly, the Israeli investigative panel did not contact any of the parties involved in reporting Muhammad Al-Dura’s death. Neither Jamal al-Dura (the boy’s father) nor Charles Enderlin (the reporter) or Talal Abu Rahma (the cameraman) was approached throughout Israel’s eight-month investigation. France 2 was not contacted by the Israeli authorities either. 
“We [Jamal, Enderlin and Abu Rahma] have said many times we are ready for any independent investigation following international standards," Charles Enderlin said in the aforementioned interview with The Guardian. 
All three of the witnesses are willing to take polygraph tests to prove their story. Jamal al-Dura has gone even further, publicly agreeing to exhume his son’s body from a cemetery in central Gaza where he is buried in order to take DNA tests so that he may prove that the boy is his son and, contrary to the report’s claim, is in fact dead. 


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