France-2 Wins Defamation Claim in al-Dura Case

PARIS (AP/Hamodia) -

A French media analyst has been convicted of defamation for accusing a state news network of staging a video that depicted a young boy being killed in a firefight between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli forces.

The footage, more than a decade ago made the boy, Muhammad al-Dura, a cause celebre and fueled anti-Israeli sentiment worldwide.

However, a month ago, the IDF released the results of an exhaustive investigation which said that, given the angles of fire in the incident, Israeli soldiers could not have been responsible for his death. Investigators also questioned whether the boy was even hurt in the crossfire. The conclusions were based, in part, on video footage obtained by the IDF that had been suppressed by the French network France-2 which showed the supposed victim still alive at the end of the video.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinetz called it “a blood-libel against Israel. The French report was simply false,” he said.

Nonetheless, a Paris court fined Philippe Karsenty 7,000 euros Wednesday in the defamation case filed by network France-2.

Karsenty called the verdict “outrageous.”

A lawyer for France-2 said it was a victory for journalists.