Israel accuses TV station of blood libel over ‘staged’ death of Palestinian child

Images of a 12-year-old boy, Muhammed al-Dura cowering behind his father as a gun battle raged around them in Gaza, and which became a symbol of the second Palestinian intifada, may have been staged, an Israeli inquiry has claimed.

The boy was killed, and at first Israel apologized for its role in his death. But later it suggested he had been hit by Palestinian fire — a version of events it supported this morning with the release of a fresh report by a committee of inquiry into the coverage of the event.

The committee was established last year by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said continued broadcast of the footage was damaging to Israel. The committee’s 36-page report concludes that Muhammed and his father Jamal were not hit by gunfire from the Israeli Defense Force.

The report criticized the initial broadcast, by the European TV channel France 2. It said the station’s “central claims and accusations had no basis in the material which the station had in its possession at the time … There is no evidence that the IDF was in any way responsible for causing any of the alleged injuries to Jamal or the boy.”

The report said footage taken by France 2 but never broadcast showed that after it had claimed Muhammed was dead, he moves his arm and turns his head.

It added: “There is no evidence that Jamal or the boy were wounded in the manner claimed in the report. … In contrast, there are numerous indications that the two were not struck by bullets at all.”

The committee said the initial admission of culpability by Israel was issued in haste, before all the facts were known. This was blamed on the “fog of war.”

Yuval Steinitz, the minister of strategic affairs described the incident as “a modern-day blood libel against the state of Israel … The France 2 report was utterly baseless.”

But the report’s claims were denied by France 2 and its journalist Charles Enderlin, who said they were ready to cooperate with an independent inquiry. Enderlin and the boy’s father said they were willing to undergo lie detector tests.

France 2′s statement carried on: “From the start of the incident until today, France 2 has shown a willingness to participate in any official legal proceedings accompanied by legal counsel and carried out according to international standards.”

The station has launched a defamation claim against a media investigations watchdog, which previously claimed it had staged the entire incident.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…