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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
September 2000. The 12-year-old Palestinian boy reportedly died during a gun battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen.
"We have long harbored questions about the al-Durrah affair, and have welcomed efforts in
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