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The controversial 2000 shooting of a Palestinian boy was staged by a French TV station, an Israeli official says.

Daniel Seaman, director of the Government Press Office, said in an official letter to the Israel Law Center that 12-year-old Mohammad Dura could not have been hit by Israeli fire and that the France 2 cameraman had staged the shot.

The videotape of the boy dying in his father’s arms after being caught in the crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in Gaza was beamed around the world in late September 2000, shortly before the start of the second intafada.

“It is impossible that the child was hit by Israeli troops,” Seaman wrote. “The wounds actually show that they were caused by shots that came from the Palestinian direction.”

The Israeli army took responsibility for killing Dura, but an investigation later showed that the bullets, based on the angle of their entry, were fired from Palestinian gunmen.

Seaman has refused a request by the law center to revoke France 2’s press accreditation.

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