AJC: New Israeli Government Report on Al-Durrah Affair Clarifies Event

May 19, 2013, 18:28 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, May 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC welcomed a new Israeli government report on Muhammad al-Durrah as an important contribution to understanding the events that transpired in Gaza in September 2000. The 12-year-old Palestinian boy reportedly died during a gun battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen.

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"We have long harbored questions about the al-Durrah affair, and have welcomed efforts in France, Israel and the United States to examine all the available evidence," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "The report issued today by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu provides much needed and long overdue clarity, and significantly refutes the charges against the IDF that have lingered and been exploited by Israel's adversaries for more than a dozen years."

Al-Durrah became an instant icon for Palestinians during the second intifada as France 2 broadcast only partial footage of the tragedy.

The Israeli government report noted that the France 2 report, first aired on September 30, 2000, "had the immediate effect of harming Israel's international standing and fanning the flames of terror and hate." The report was quickly aired around the world.

The Israeli government report is based on an examination of available France 2 video footage. In 2007, responding to a legal action initiated by Philippe Karsenty, a French judge ordered the television station to release the raw footage. Karsenty has tenaciously challenged France 2 in an effort to expose the truth. At the time AJC called the French judge's ruling a "critical contribution to the search for truth" about the events surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian exchange of fire and reported death of al-Durrah.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee