The father of Muhammad al-Dura, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in 2000, said Monday that he was not surprised by Israel’s refusal to take responsibility for his son’s death.
“Every year the Israelis come up with a new narrative,” Jamal al-Dura told Ma’an. “Yes, Muhammad is still alive in our hearts and in the hearts of the Arab and Islamic nation as well as all the noble people who support the Palestinian cause.”
France 2 reporter Charles Enderlin’s reportage on the incident shows the death of 12-year-old Muhammad in the arms of his father in Sept. 30, 2000 after being caught in the crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants at the start of the second intifada.
An Israeli report by the ministry of international affairs and strategy said raw footage of the incident showed that Muhammad was seen alive in the video.
“Israel committed that crime in cold blood, and they know quite well that Muhammad and the Palestinian people are going after them,” Jamal al-Durra told Ma’an.
“Who showered Muhammad and his father with bullets while they were unarmed?” he asked.
Muhammad was the eldest son in the al-Dura family. A year after his death, the family had another boy and named him after Muhammad. He is now 11 years old.
“I am proud that my father named me after my brother who died a martyr,” he told Ma’an.
In response to an AFP query Enderlin, the Jerusalem correspondent for the television channel that broadcast the original news report, said: “We are ready for an independent public inquiry.”
“We have always said, including to the supreme court, that we were ready for an independent public inquiry by international standards.”
Philippe Karsenty, director of watchdog group Media Ratings, was convicted of defamation in 2006 for accusing France 2 of doctoring the images in the original report, but the ruling was overturned in 2008.
An appeals court in Paris will issue its final ruling on the affair on Wednesday.
Israeli forces have killed 1,397 Palestinian children in the occupied Palestinian territories since 2000, the year of Muhammad al-Dura’s disputed death, according to Defense for Children International Palestine.
(Ma’an – maannews.net)