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Israel bans 'Jenin, Jenin' film, orders payment of damages to Israel soldier

DVD cover of the documentary Jenin, Jenin [Carl Williams/Twitter]
DVD cover of the documentary Jenin, Jenin [Carl Williams/Twitter]

The Lod District Court in Israel on Monday banned the screening of a documentary about Israel's brutal 2002 campaign in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

'Jenin, Jenin' can no longer be aired in Israel after an Israeli soldier who was depicted in the footage stealing from an elderly Palestinian filed a lawsuit against the film.

The judge said Israeli soldier Nissim Magnaji had been "sent to defend his country and found himself accused of a crime he did not commit". The court ordered director Mohammed Bakri to pay damages to Magnaji of 175,000 shekels ($55,000) as well as 50,000 shekels ($15,936) of court expenses.

In her ruling, judge Halit Silash went on to say some of the representation in the video was untrue.

Bakri, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, told the AFP news agency the decision was "unfair" and that the judge had acted on instructions "from above".

"I intend to appeal the verdict because it is unfair, it is neutering my truth," Bakri told the Walla News website.

READ: Israel seeks ban on film documenting its crimes in Jenin

Objecting to the court's ruling, the chairman of the Balad faction in the Joint List party, Member of the Israeli Knesset Mtanes Shehadeh, was quoted by the Times of Israel saying: "It's not the film that should be shelved, but the occupation and its crimes."

The documentary shows footage and eyewitness accounts of the massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in 2002. At least 52 Palestinians, including women, children, and the elderly, were killed in the rampage that unfolded over a two-week period in a refugee camp, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation.

Some 23 Israeli soldiers were killed at the time.

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