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Report says Israel didn't kill boy during second intifada in 2000

May 20, 2013 at 5:25 AM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, May 20 (UPI) -- Israeli army gunfire didn't kill Mohammed al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy who became the symbol of the second intifada in 2000, a report said.

Thirteen years after the boy's death in northern Gaza, an investigating committee handed its findings Sunday to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Images of the boy crouching behind his father Jamal al-Dura near the Netzarim Junction in northern Gaza became a potent symbol of the second intifada and invited harsh criticism of Israel from across the globe. The initial report was broadcast by France 2, its reporter Charles Enderlin and Palestinian cameraman Tal'al Abu Rahmah.

"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 [Israel Defense Forces] was in any way responsible for causing any of the alleged injuries to Jamal or the boy," a portion of the Israeli committee report quoted by The Jerusalem Post said.

Contrary to the television report's claim that the boy was killed, raw footage of the final scenes viewed by the committee, not broadcast by the French television station, shows he was alive and "moved his arm and turned his head," the report stated.

The committee described the French television report as "edited and narrated in such a way as to create the misleading impression that it substantiated the claims made therein."

Enderlin rejected the report saying no investigators contacted him, Israel Radio said. Enderlin said France 2 was willing to aid the boy's father to exhume his son's body to help clarify the circumstances of the incident, the radio said. The committee also questioned the credibility of Abu Rahmah's statements, saying he constantly contradicted himself.

Jamal al-Dura told Ynetnews.com: "If Mohammed wasn't hurt by the bullets, then who shot at me and injured me? ... If Israel is willing to form an international inquiry committee that will prove how Mohammed died, I will cooperate with it."

The website noted that al-Dura's claims at the time that he was injured during the incident were proven false by Dr. Yehuda David, an Israeli doctor, who said he operated on al-Dura years before the incident after he had been attacked by Hamas operatives.

In February last year, a French court accepted an appeal by the television station concerning a libel case against French media personality Philippe Karsenty, who said the television report of al-Dura had been staged, Ynetnews.com said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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