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October 2, 2007
After 7 Years, Israel able to Categorically Deny Al-Dura Incident
The Israeli government has denied responsibility in the death of a young Palestinian boy, Al-Dura, whose death caught on tape by a Palestinian cameraman working for a French television station 7 years ago is largely credited with starting the "second intifada.:"
The document argued that the images, which showed al-Dura being shot beside his father and have become a symbol of the second intifada, were staged. Several independent investigations over the years have absolved the IDF of responsibility in the death of the young boy:
"The creation of the myth of Muhammad al-Dura has caused great damage to the State of Israel. This is an explicit blood libel against the state. And just as blood libels in the old days have led to pogroms, this one has also caused damage and dozens of dead," said Government Press Office director Daniel Seaman.
The arguments were based on investigations that showed that the angles of the IDF troops' fire could not have hit the child or his father, that part of the filmed material, mainly the moment of the boy's alleged death, is missing, and the fact that the cameraman can be heard saying the boy is dead while the boy is still seen moving.
The report has been investigated by various bodies over the years, and four intensive journalistic inquiries examining the incident said there was no evidence that the boy was shot by the soldiers. Some of the inquiries stated that according to calculations of the angle in which the boy and his father were hit, they were most likely shot by the Palestinians.These independent reports point the finger at the Palestinian cameraman for staging the event.
The incident points up the danger of trying to practice journalism in the hot spots of the Middle East including Iraq, where reliance on people whose sympathies may lie with the enemy and whose reports are therefore, suspect. The wire services especially rely on locals to get the story. And as we saw in the Hezb'allah-Israeli War in 2006 with stories of questional verity and faked photos, not all is as it appears to be in the war zones of the Middle East.