Israeli doctor acquitted of libeling al-Dura’s father

(JTA) — An Israeli doctor was acquitted of libeling the father of Muhammad al-Dura, the boy whose death during the second intifada galvanized the Palestinian uprising.

The French Supreme Court acquitted Dr. Yehuda David on Wednesday of breaking doctor-patient confidentiality.

David in an interview with a French-Jewish publication following the 2000 incident had said an injury that Jamal al-Dura claimed he had sustained while reportedly being in the crossfire of Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers was actually the result of an earlier attack by fellow Palestinians who accused him of being a collaborator. David had operated on al-Dura at a hospital in Tel Aviv.

Al-Dura sued on the basis of violating the laws of doctor-patient confidentiality.

A lower court had ordered David to pay al-Dura about $17,000. 

The shooting of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura was captured on film by a Palestinian cameraman for France 2. Israel initially took responsibility, but a subsequent investigation by the Israeli military found that the bullets likely came from the Palestinian gunmen. 

Philippe Karsenty, a French media commentator, was later sued for libel by France 2 for suggesting that the incident was staged by the Palestinians. He lost but a French appeals court overturned the decision.

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