The government investigative committee that was set up to determine the truth of allegations that IDF soldiers killed 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura during the "Second Intifada" have determined that not only were the allegations – and a report by French television purporting to show IDF soldiers shooting and killing the boy – a lie, but that the al-Dura may not even be dead.
“As opposed to the media reports that stated that the child was killed, an examination of the raw video shot by the France 2 staff shows the child alive,” the committee said. That portion of the video was never broadcast. “In addition, there is a great deal of evidence to indicate that al-Dura and his father were never hit by any bullets. The investigation shows that it is very unlikely that the bullet holes seen in the wall behind the two came from shots fired by IDF soldiers.”
Al-Dura and his father became famous in September 2000, when they were turned into a symbol that had international opinion accusing Israel of causing preventable civilian casualties during the intifada - initiated by the Palestinian Arabs.
Media critic Philippe Karsenty, who succeeded in getting the courts to see the unedited films, courageously exposed the al-Dura "big lie", but was sued by France 2 TV and the verdict is still not in. Israeli physician, Dr. Yehuda David, revealed that in 2007 that he had treated the father, Jamal al-Dura, for wounds sustained in an Arab gang attack – injuries that al-Dura later claimed had been inflicted by the Israeli army. He, too, was sued for libel, but won the case.
The IDF initially apologized for al-Dura's death, but issued a retraction after an initial investigation indicated that it was Arab terror gunfire, not shots fired by IDF soldiers, that killed the boy. The incident. however, was recorded by a television crew working for France 2 TV, and its original, false version quickly spread and continued to be a top story for weeks after the video was broadcast.
The new report questions whether or not the younger al-Dura was even killed. The fact that he was still alive at the end of the French television video, after the gunfire had stopped, could mean that the boy is alive even now. “Since this issue was first raised there have been many contradictions and cold trails, based on the story the French television company told. There are many unanswered questions about many aspects of this incident,” the committee said.
In the wake of the report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that the incident “libeled Israel, and was an example of the deceitful delegitimization that we are constantly subject to. There is only one way to battle lies – by telling the truth,” Netanyahu said.