The release this week of the Israeli Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy’s report which definitely found that the France 2 television infamous news broadcast of the IDF shooting a Palestinian child in Gaza in September 2000 was a fake, is an important victory for all of the activists and organizations that engaged in the struggle for the truth. Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian youth, allegedly seen being killed in the video footage, became the poster child in the Arab world for the murderous intifada violence that fueled hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and Jewish communities worldwide. Thousands of Jews and Arabs had been killed in the ensuing violence following the broadcast that lasted for years.
The new governmental report, drafted by General (res.) Yossi Kupperwasser, found that the IDF was in no way responsible for the claimed shooting of al-Dura and that there was compelling evidence to suggest that he had never even been wounded by gunfire at all. The Committee had the opportunity to view the raw video outtakes of the incident as filmed by a Palestinian cameraman in Gaza for France 2. As the report states: “The committee’s review of the raw footage showed that in the final scenes, which were not broadcast by France 2, the boy is seen to be alive and that he moved his arm and turned his head.”
For a copy of the full report, click here.
In December 2007, Shurat HaDin brought a petition in Israel’s High Court of Justice insisting that the al-Dura broadcast was a malicious canard perpetrated by the cameraman and an editor of the French television station. We demanded that the Israel Government Press Office (GPO) cancel the accreditations of France 2 and its editor Charles Enderlin. While the GPO conceded that the al-Dura broadcast was a fabrication and that it was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, it claimed it did not have the mandate to revoke France 2′s accreditations. The High Court, unfortunately, agreed and ruled that the GPO did not have the authority to prohibit France 2 from broadcasting from Israel. Following the High Court ruling in 2008, we stated: ”This modern-day blood libel directly resulted in thousands of Jewish and Arab deaths and ignited a still-flaming torch of international hatred, only for the sake of raising FRANCE 2′s ratings. This was perhaps the greatest journalistic hoax perpetrated in the last hundred years. We demand that those who are responsible for this crime will bare the consequences of their actions. The State of Israel cannot simply allow FRANCE 2 to remain in this country.”
It has taken the Israeli government another 5 years since the High Court ruling to finally issue its report.
This week we continued our demand that those at France 2 responsible for what has now been officially deemed a dangerous hoax, be placed under arrest and charged with all of the murders and damages this fabricated incitement has rendered. France 2 and Enderlin must have their press accreditation revoked and be thrown out of Israel.
Issuing the report is a major step forward in the battle for the truth but justice requires that those responsible for this massive blood libel must finally pay.
For an article about Shurat HaDin’s call for justice in the al-Dura case, click here.
And join with us on the June 2013 Ultimate Mission to Israel.
About the Author: Nitsana Darshan-Leitner is director of Shurat HaDin, which acts to protect human rights and the security of the State of Israel.
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