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November 15, 2007
Al-Durah Case Turns on Raw Video of the Incident
The case against France 2 and their manufacturing the iconic images of a young boy named Mohammed al-Durah being shot by Israelis during a fire fight was bolstered today when 18 minutes of additional raw footage was presented as evidence to the presiding judge.
The only problem is, that court requested 27 minutes of tape that are known to exist. And it is significant what is in that other 9 minutes - concrete proof that Palestinians were putting on a show for the France 2 camera:
What it actually produced was 18 minutes out of the 27 it was required to bring forward. From this footage, which according to France 2’s Palestinian cameraman was filmed during an implausible 45 minutes of continuous shooting by Israeli soldiers, there is no evidence that anyone at all was killed or injured -- including Mohammed al Durah who by the end of the frames in which he figured seemed to be still very much alive and unmarked by any wound whatsoever. Indeed, you can see the Reuters' footage here. The point being, that little al-Durah was alive and well even after France 2 pronounced him dead. And the steady procession of people being placed into ambulances showed no blood, no injuries whatsoever.
The drama of today’s hearing was enhanced by the appearance of Enderlin himself, who until today had not graced this case with his presence. As the film was shown to a packed and overheated (in every sense) courtroom, Enderlin and Karsenty offered rival interpretations of the images on the screen.
If Enderlin thought he would thus demonstrate the inadequacy of Karsenty’s case, he was very much mistaken. On the contrary, parts of his commentary were so absurd that the courtroom several times burst into incredulous laughter.
Enderlin offered only a vague, rambling and unconvincing explanation of why he had only produced 18 minutes of footage rather than the 27 he claimed to have received from his cameraman in Gaza (Enderlin himself was not in Gaza when these events occurred).
After the hearing Professor Richard Landes, one of the people who had already seen the contested footage, said that two scenes had been cut out which clearly showed that the violence had been staged -- including one in which a Palestinian preparing to throw a missile is suddenly picked up and carried into an ambulance despite showing no signs of injury. This scene, said Landes, was filmed by Reuters, who actually filmed the France 2 cameraman filming it. Yet there was no sign of it today.
In short, France 2 helped perpetrate a terrible hoax that roiled the streets of Gaza and the West Bank as well as enraging people around the world.
This wasn't even "fake but accurate" reporting. It was just plain fake.