The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the IDF has demanded a copy of the full 27-minute tape of the Mohammed al-Dura ‘shooting’ from the France 2 TV network. The network originally released only 55 seconds of the tape, which appeared to show the boy being shot, and has refused to let anyone see the rest.
Although Israel issued an apology immediately after the incident, an IDF inquiry later showed that it was impossible for al-Dura to have been shot by Israeli soldiers, based on the location of the soldiers, the angles, etc.
Other investigations confirmed this and even produced evidence that Palestinians were staging incidents of the IDF firing at civilians on the day that al-Dura was supposed to have been shot.
Nevertheless, world opinion, always ready to view Israel and the IDF as bloody murderers, remained convinced that Israel had deliberately and sadistically killed a young boy and wounded his father, for no legitimate purpose. The event was used to ‘justify’ various acts of terrorism committed against Israelis, including the lynching of two reserve soldiers who lost their way in Ramallah.
A French media critic, Philippe Karsenty, claimed that the presentation was a hoax perpetrated by France 2 and its Jerusalem Bureau Chief Charles Enderlin. Enderlin charged Karsenty with defamation, and in a trial reminiscent of the Dreyfus case, Karsenty lost (he is presently appealing):
The trial court, finding in favor of Enderlin, disregarded the evidence Karsenty presented. Instead, the judge relied on a two-year old letter from former French President, Jacques Chirac, complementing Enderlin on his journalistic skills. The judge further noted that neither the Israeli government nor the organized French Jewish community had elected to come forward in support of Karsenty’s view. Nevertheless, the evidence in favor of Karsenty is substantive and overwhelming. Moreover, the fact that the Al Dura incident is a hoax is obvious to a critical eye merely on the basis of the footage that has so far become available. — Joanna Chandler, The Al Durah Hoax
The al-Dura affair is just one of an endless series of lies promulgated by the Palestinians and others against Israel: the Jenin ‘Massacre’ which didn’t happen, the “1000 civilian deaths” in the second Lebanon war, the Red Cross Ambulance story, the Qana ‘massacre’ of already-dead people, etc.
However, the consequences of this particular story were so horrific that the perpetrators must be held to account. If it becomes clear that France 2 and Enderlin cooperated with the Palestinians in this — and I think it will, if the footage is released — then they are the ones guilty of murder.
Update [20 Sept 1800 PDT]: A French judge has ordered the full footage shown to the court. Richard Landes, one of the few who has seen it, has written numerous articles on the subject at The Augean Stables.
Update [3 Oct 0816 PDT] Israel has officially denied responsibility for the al-Dura shooting (if it occurred). See Honest Reporting’s account here.