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French court to review Mohammed Al-Durra footage for authenticity

Muhammad Al-Durrah

Eleven years after 12 year-old Mohammed Al-Durra was shot and killed during an Israeli military operation in Gaza, a court in France is to review the footage of his death to decide on its authenticity. The filmed report of the Palestinian child’s death by French journalist Charles Enderlin has been at the centre of accusations by pro-Israel activists that the footage of the child being shielded by his father before succumbing to bullet wounds was fabricated. Enderlin and his Palestinian cameraman, Talal Abu Rahma, covered the incident on 30 September 2000, in the early days of the Second (Al-Aqsa) Intifada.

In 2004, France 2 channel filed a defamation case against the head of Media-Ratings, Philippe Karsenty, who had alleged that the report was a hoax. Karsenty was convicted of libel by the Court of the First Instance in France but the Court of Appeal ruled that he had used his right to criticise in good faith and that he did not violate the limits of free expression. Although Karsenty was released, the court did not rule on the film’s authenticity.

The case will now go to the Court of Cassation for consideration in mid February.

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