Mohammed al-Dura (ca. 1988-2000) was a Palestinian youth allegedly killed on September 30, 2000, in the Intifada in Gaza. Little is known about his early life. His alleged death was widely publicized as an example of brutal suppression by the Israel Defense Forces.
However, many reports have since surfaced suggesting that the boy's death, if it occurred at all, was staged. Independent investigators concluded within three months of the incident that the Israeli soldiers on duty on the "fatal" day could not possibly have shot the boy. Years later, reports surfaced of other staged "deaths," including "incongruous battle scenes complete with wounded combatants and screeching ambulances played out in front of an audience of laughing onlookers, while makeshift movie directors do retakes of botched scenes." Five years after the incident, the Los Angeles Times frankly admitted that the video of the boy's death was a fraud. (They did not shoot the video, but they were perhaps late in concluding that the scene shown on it was not as claimed.)
More recently, Philippe Karsenty, director of a group called Media-Ratings, declared flatly that the death of Mohammed al-Dura was a fraud. The French state-owned TV station, France-2, sued him for libel and won. But Karsenty appealed the case, on the basis that no court had ever ordered France-2 to produce all of the video footage that their reporter on the scene, Charles Enderlin, had shot of al-Dura's alleged shooting. In September 2007, an appeals judge ordered the French network to release the video. On November 14, 2007, the video was released—or rather, only eighteen minutes of video were produced in court. France-2 told the court that another nine minutes of video footage, "unrelated" to the al-Dura shooting, had already been destroyed. Outraged expert witnesses immediately stated that they had personally witnessed footage other than that shown in court, footage that showed clear evidence of fraud. In one scene, as reported by The Jerusalem Post:
|“||Toward the end [of the video], the tape appeared to show Dura briefly putting his hand to his forehead to check what was happening around him, and moving his leg.||”|
Evidently a boy was pronounced dead at a hospital, but witnesses say that the boy was not al-Dura. A boy was buried in Gaza—but again, whether this is al-Dura or not, is an open question.
- Kupelian, David. "Who Killed Mohammed al-Dura?" WorldNetDaily, December 4, 2000. Retrieved November 16, 2007.
- Kupelian, David. "Probe: Famous 'martyrdom' of Palestinian boy 'staged'." WorldNetDaily, April 26, 2003. Retrieved November 16, 2007.
- Author uncredited. "Terrorists' 'poster boy' exposed as media fraud." WorldNetDaily, September 13, 2005. Retrieved November 16, 2007.
- Author uncredited. "Secret video of 12-year-old's 'martyrdom' to be released." WorldNetDaily, September 21, 2007. Retrieved November 16, 2007.
- Author uncredited. "12-year-old's murder 'staged,' experts claim." WorldNetDaily, November 15, 2007. Retrieved November 16, 2007.