Father of Mohammed al-Dura calls Israeli report false

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The father of Mohammed al-Dura said an Israeli report that claims the boy was not killed in a shootout between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen is false and called for an international investigation.

Jamal al-Dura on Monday told Reuters that the Israeli report is a “new fabrication” and said that he would submit to an international investigation, which would include Arab participation.

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Jamal al-Dura told the Ynet news website that he and his son both were hit by Israeli fire in the Sept. 30, 2000 incident.

The 36-page report released Sunday is Israel’s most comprehensive official response to a disputed video shot by a French television station in 2000, which sparked anti-Israel riots and attacks on Israeli and Jews across the world.

According to the report, “there are many signs” that the boy was not even shot.

Narrated by France 2 reporter Charles Enderlin, the 55-second video shows a boy and a man, later identified as Jamal al-Dura and his son, Mohammed, crouching behind a barrel, supposedly under gunfire near Netzarim in the Gaza Strip. Enderlin said in his narration that the fire “came from the Israeli position” and that the boy was shot dead.

But the Israeli committee in its report said “there are many signs” that the man and the boy “were not hit by bullets at all.” Unaired raw footage showed “the boy was alive” when the France 2 camera stopped recording, according to the report, which also cited the lack of blood stains at the scene, among other findings.

Israel initially assumed responsibility for the incident, but a later military probe found any bullets likely came from Palestinian gunmen who exchanged fire with Israeli soldiers on the day al-Dura was allegedly shot.

France 2 said in a statement it that it was willing to participate in “any official independent investigation, carried out according to international standards” and that it would help exhume Mohammed al-Dura “to help clarify the circumstances” of his death.