A French Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled in favor of Dr. Yehuda David of Tel Hashomer Hospital, who had been found guilty of slander by a lower court, in a case involving a Palestinian man who claimed he was injured by the IDF during the second Intifada.
The Palestinian man, Jamal al-Dura, and his 12-year-old son Muhammad, became the symbol of the Intifada, when they were caught in a fire exchange in the Netzarim Junction in the Gaza strip. The boy was killed in the incident, and the Palestinians accused Israel for his death, while Israeli officials insisted he was hit by Palestinian fire (However, there has never been evidence that the boy was killed at all, and the whole event may have been staged).
Television station France 2 showed footage of al-Dura and his father seeking cover while ostensibly caught in the crossfire between Palestinian gunmen and IDF soldiers. The France 2 coverage suggested the two had been targeted by the IDF. Muhammad al-Dura was hailed as a martyr throughout the Arab world. The accuracy of the France 2 report was widely debated in the years that followed.
But as the child’s father was relaying his story to the media, showing the scars he said he had sustained from Israeli fire, Dr. Yehuda David of Tel Hashomer Hospital revealed that the scars were, in reality, the result of surgery the father had undergone years before, after being attacked by Hamas activists suspecting him of working for Israel.
The father, Jamal al-Dura, decided to sue Dr. David in French court which last year ruled against the doctor simply because he revealed patient information from al-Dura’s medical records without his authorization. He was ordered to compensate al-Dura with €13,000, but appealed the ruling at a higher French Court.
“It couldn’t have turned out better,” David told Ynet News after the ruling against him had been overturned. “It means that I spoke the truth, and the father just lied.”
“We managed to deconstruct their false statements. All the scientific evidence that we collected for the past 12 years proves that the incident was staged and fake. They made up the father’s injury, and the IDF troops never shot the boy.”
David has been raising funds on a Facebook page, to fight what he calls the “Palestinian’s false anti-Israel propaganda,” and said that Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon has joined the effort.