Israel says there is new evidence that a French television report whose harrowing images helped inspire the second Palestinian uprising was unfounded.
The report in 2000 showed a father and son in Gaza caught up in Israeli-Palestinian crossfire. The 12-year-old was later pronounced dead – hit, said France 2, by Israeli troops.
Nearly 13 years later, the Israeli government-commissioned report says there is no proof Israel was responsible – adding that unbroadcast pictures suggest the two were perhaps not hit at all.
“The network has information in their own raw footage indicating that after he was allegedly dead, he moved and did it intentionally and on purpose which puts a lot of doubt on whether he was actually dead,” said the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs, Yossi Kuperwasser.
Israel wants the TV report corrected, but in Gaza, Mohammed’s father denounced Israel’s claims as fabricated.
He has called for an international investigation into the shooting.
Afterwards Jamal al-Dura was reportedly treated for bullet wounds in Jordan. At his son’s graveside he said:
“Once they said Mohammed was alive and another time that he was killed by Palestinian gunfire. Also another time they filmed me and Mohammed as if we were Israelis and the Palestinians were shooting towards us. I told them, if Mohammed is alive, what happened to me?”
France 2 has offered to cooperate and to help exhume the boy’s body if necessary.
In France a long-standing defamation case by the France 2 TV reporter, Charles Enderlin, against Philippe Karsenty, a media analyst who said the item was staged, again comes to court this week.