Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

News Brief


A French judge ordered the release of video footage that could reopen the controversy surrounding the 2000 shooting of Mohammed al-Dura.

The appeals court judge in Paris ordered France 2 TV to show the court about 25 minutes of raw video footage shot on Sept. 30, 2000 at the Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip, when the 12-year-old Palestinian boy apparently was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants.

Al-Dura’s shooting death became an instant icon for Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israeli brutality, but the Israeli army, after initially apologizing for the death, concluded after an investigation that the boy could not possibly have been hit by Israeli bullets.

When Philippe Karsenty, director of the media watchdog group Media-Ratings, called France 2’s exclusive video of the incident “a hoax,” he was found guilty of slander. He appealed the decision, and on Wednesday the appeals judge ordered that the video be released. Karsenty called the court’s decision a victory. “This is only the first step in a victory,” his lawyer, Marc Levy, corrected him.

France 2, whose cameraman in Gaza, Talal Abu Rahma, shot the exclusive footage that was considered a major scoop at the time, was given until Nov. 14 to hand over the video to the court.

Several French and U.S. journalists who have seen the raw footage have indicated the shooting might have been staged by Palestinians.

A decision on Karsenty’s case is expected in February.

Recommended from JTA