The Mohammed Al Dura Hoax Explained

By Bernie on 16 Sep 2010

Ben Heine drawing of Al-Dura hoax
Photo Credit: This Ongoing War

One of the persistent lies used by those who support terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah is that Palestinians are merely fighting in self-defense against an enemy that purposely targets children.

I have already shown by mathematical proof that the Israeli defense Forces take great pains to target only soldiers. Some of my readers may recall that British hero Colonel Richard Kemp told the U.N. Council that the IDF is the most moral army in the history of warfare.

Although it has been debunked a number of times, they usually bring up the doctored video of the killing of Muhammad al-Durrah.

Here's the background: In July of 2000 at the Camp David Summit, Yassir Arafat was offered a Palestinian State in one of the best deals anyone could ever hope for. In fact, turning down the deal was called a "crime" by the Saudi Ambassador to the US at the time, Prince Bandar bin Sultan (1).

Sadly, the US and the Saudis were looking for peace, while Arafat had a different agenda in mind: the destruction of Israel. And of course, a Palestinian state would mean the end of his control of billions he siphoned from moneys coming into the PLO (2).

Within a month Clinton wrote a proposal to Barak and Arafat for future negotiations. To derail any more peace talks, Arafat instructed his minions to look for any pretext to ignite tensions in the area. Thus started the Second Intifada, fighting which resulted in the deaths of 5500 Palestinians and over 1100 Israelis, both civilian and military.

It is in this context that we see Palestinians killing their own children for propaganda purposes. Here is what appears to have happened:

Wiki, Muhammad al-Durrah incident

The Muhammad al-Durrah incident took place at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip on September 30, 2000, on the second day of the Second Intifada, amid widespread rioting throughout the Palestinian territories. Jamal al-Durrah and his 12-year-old son, Muhammad, were filmed by Talal Abu Rahma, a Palestinian cameraman freelancing for France 2, as they sought cover behind a concrete cylinder after being caught in crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian security forces. The footage, which lasts just over a minute, shows the pair holding onto each other, the boy crying and the father waving, then a burst of gunfire and dust, after which the boy is seen slumped across his father's legs.

An edited version of the video was broadcast in France with a voiceover from Charles Enderlin, France 2's bureau chief in Israel, who was not there and did not did actually witness the incident, telling viewers that father and son had been the "target of fire from the Israeli positions", and that the boy had died.

An official Israeli investigation, as well as subsequent reports in foreign media outlets, showed that it was not physically possible for the Israeli soldiers to have shot the boy.

Phillipe Karsenty, the head of Media Ratings (a professional media analysis company based in Paris), examined raw footage of the clip and accused the station of perpetrating a hoax (3).

His company published an article in Nov 2004 saying that Arlette Chabot, the head of the information desk at France 2 and Charles Enderlin, who narrated the Al Dura forgery, should resign because they refused to admit that they made a mistake and to correct the information.

In early 2005, France-2 sued Karsenty and the media company for libel and won the case in Oct 2006.

On 21 May 2008, the appeals court overturned the conviction after viewing the tape and concluded that Karsenty had a good faith belief that the Al-Dura report was staged (4), citing "the contradictory answers given by Charles Enderlin to the questions relating to the editing of the film," the "inexplicable inconsistencies of the viewable images," and the "contradictory answers of [cameraman Talal Abu Rahma] on the issue of the sequence of the scenes and the conditions under which they were filmed." It also noted "France 2's persistent reluctance to allow the viewing of its cameraman's rushes," and Enderlin's "imprudent claim that he edited out the images of the child's agony."

See Pajamasmedia video interview with Philippe Karsenty on Al Durah.

For a very detailed analysis please see Anatomy of a French Media Scandal.

If the video above does not show, click here.

Throughout the Internet one can find comments from Hamas apologists who use this Al Dura Hoax video to show that the IDF purposely targets children and that this one boy's death is absolute proof of an Israeli policy of genocide against the Palestinians. But here's the problem. Muslims deny the Holocaust and even when they admit it might have happened it probably only affected a handful of Jews, so it's no wonder that when two Palestinians scrape their knees fighting the IDF, it has to be genocide, a Palestinian holocaust.

Sadly, what Muslims learn in their limited schools prevents them from understanding what genocide really means.




President Clinton had been eager to leave office with a settlement in the Middle East, and Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, needed a deal to survive the next election. Bush said that he didn't think Arafat really wanted to solve the problem. Bandar believed that Arafat's failure to accept the deal in January of 2001 was a tragic mistake-a crime, really. Yet to say so publicly would damage the Palestinian cause, which had been championed by the Saudis, who would then lose any leverage they still had.


New World Encyclopedia, Yasser Arafat

In 2003 a team of American accountants hired by Arafat's own finance ministry began examining Arafat's finances. The team claimed that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion; with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands.


HonestReporting, Storm Clouds Over Paris

HR: What led you to conclude that the video was a forgery?

PK: The cameraman offered the images to CNN, and they rejected it because Talal wouldn’t offer guarantees that it was legitimate. On the same day, Talal made another forgery filming fake scenes. Reuters filmed him filming other forged stories. On the first scene of the France 2 report before the child is killed, you see the scenes he filmed are fake.

They broadcast a scene where the guy was supposedly hit in the leg by a bullet but there’s no blood. People are dragging him on the sidewalk and there’s no blood. An ambulance comes, it takes two seconds from the time he’s supposedly wounded and the ambulance comes. Two seconds just doesn’t make sense, it’s too fast. And the people putting him on the stretcher lie him down directly on the leg where he was supposedly hit.

Charles Enderlin says the father and son are the target of Israeli soldiers. Enderlin claims he never said that Israel killed the boy. But he said, “The father and son are the target of Israeli soldiers” which implies that it was deliberate. On the 3rd of October, Rahma said the murder of Dura was intentional and in cold blood. But he told Esther Shapira (of Germany’s ARD), he claims he never said that.

The day of the shooting was a protest day in Gaza. All the shops were closed. Dura’s father, when he was questioned, said he took his son to the market to look at a used car. But everyone knew the shops were closed.

Also important, at the end of the France 2 film, you see someone flash two fingers in front of the camera just to show a second take. It was done just two centimeters in front of the camera. It doesn’t make sense. You can see it. It’s done in the way to show that a scene has just ended.

Rahma said he filmed for 45 minutes, but you only see one bullet which hits the wall above the adult and the kid. This shot was a Palestinian bullet. The angle showed it came from the Palestinian compound.

Ten seconds before [Dura] died, you hear a voice shouting in Arabic “The kid is dead, the kid is dead, the kid is dead.” But he hasn’t been hit yet.

At the end of the film, when he’s supposedly dead, there’s movement that doesn’t make sense. He raises his elbow, looks at the cameraman and puts down his elbow. The father pretends he received nine bullets himself, but if you look at the images, you see no blood on his white shirt.

When Rahma was asked why he didn’t film the Israelis shooting, he said he said he wanted to spare his batteries.

France 2 claims they have 27 additional minutes of footages. They invited two independent experts to watch the video. According to the two experts, 90 percent of those images were faked scenes.

HR: What was your criticism for which you are on trial? Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently?

PK: We said the video is a forgery. France 2 rejects that the video is a forgery and they’re suing Media-Ratings for defamation. It’s a good idea to have the case on the table. This forgery was done a long time ago and the Israeli government behaved very cowardly. They refused to take steps to have this forgery corrected.


Haaretz, Court backs claim that al-Dura killing was staged

A Paris appeals court yesterday found French Web site owner Phillipe Karsenty not guilty of slandering France 2 public television, and backed Karsenty's claim that the station and its Middle East correspondent had broadcast a staged report on the death of the Palestinian boy Mohammad al-Dura on September 30, 2000.

Anyone may republish this article for non-commercial use without asking my permission. I make it easy, see details here.

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