Roger L. Simon

Mohammed al-Dura Revisited

Who can forget the heart-rending video of the young Palestinian boy Mohammed al-Dura dying in the arms of his father after being shot by Israeli soldiers? Made by France 2, it became a symbol of Infiada II. For some time now, however, many people have cast doubt on the authenticity of this video. And now French TV [is] Allegedly Using Threats to Avert Fraud Probe:

French state-owned television is using what some call intimidation and threatened libel lawsuits to quiet calls for an investigation of TV images that showed the alleged shooting of a Palestinian boy by Israeli soldiers in 2000.

The video from the TV channel France 2 has become famous around the world as a symbol for the current Palestinian intifada (uprising) and shows a boy trying to take shelter behind a man during a gun battle in September 2000 between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip.

Independent media analysts in France and Israel have provided what they call conclusive evidence that the video of the incident was staged and at least one member of the French Assembly has called for an official investigation of the episode, but France 2 has so far refused to undertake a comprehensive inquiry.

France 2 Television did not respond to numerous requests for interviews by Cybercast News Service in Paris, choosing instead to provide copies of articles reporting it was filing a libel suit against un-named individuals for defamation.