Frenchman guilty of defamation in al-Dura case

Frenchman guilty of defamation in al-Dura case
Thu Jun 27, 2013 22:04:00

A French media analyst has been convicted of defamation for accusing a state television network of staging a video showing a Palestinian boy being killed by bullets fired by Israeli forces.

The footage more than a decade ago galvanized anti-Israeli sentiment, and shaped perspectives of the Middle East conflict during the second Palestinian uprising.

The al-Dura case has long stirred emotions in Israel, tapping into a larger sense of the Jewish regime being victimized in the media.

The footage by France-2 broadcast on 30 September 2000 showed the terrified boy, Mohammed al-Dura, and his father amid a furious exchange of fire in the Gaza Strip.

It then cut to the motionless boy slumped in his father's lap.

The report blamed Israeli forces for the death.

In a report issued in 2004, Philippe Karsenty said the footage was orchestrated and there was no proof that the boy had been killed.

France-2 sued for defamation, and after a long legal battle, a Paris court fined Karsenty seven-thousand euros ($9,100) on Wednesday.

"France-2 and Charles Enderlin are satisfied with this decision that, after years in the courts, punishes this attack on the honor of a journalist and his network," said Benedicte Amblard, lawyer for France-2.

Over the past decade Karsenty has amassed hours of video about the day of the shooting.

Benedicte Amblard, a lawyer for France-2, said the verdict would allow journalists to retain confidence in their work.

France-2 correspondent in al-Quds (Jerusalem) Charles Enderlin said he and France-2 parent company France Televisions welcomed Wednesday's decision.