A French court will be looking into the case of Mohammad Ad-Dorra, 12, who was killed after being repeatedly shot, on September 30, 2000, while seeking shelter from Israeli military fire in his father’s lap; the father was also shot by several rounds.Eleven years ago, French reporter, Sharl Anderlan, was present at the shooting, and, along with his Palestinian Cameraman, Talal Abu Rahma, videotaped the incident. Anderlan was later accused of fabricating the video, despite the fact that the shooting took place in broad daylight in front of several persons, and reporters, who were also witnesses to the incident.
Mohammad Jamal Ad-Dorra was born on November 22, 1988, and was shot dead on September 30, 2000. He and his father were walking in Salah Ed-Deen Street, in Gaza.
When the shooting started, they tried to take shelter behind a concrete barrel and the father started waving to the soldiers, trying to indicate that he was a civilian with a child, but the shooting did not stop.
The father could not fully shelter the child, and both of them were shot by several rounds of live ammunition.
Two weeks after the shooting, France 2 cameraman Talal Abu Rahma, signed an affidavit stating that Israeli soldiers deliberately opened fire at the child and his father.
He further stated that the soldiers were firing towards the child, “not once, but several times”. He also said that the soldiers were also firing at Palestinian policemen, and at a Palestinian police station 30 meters away.
Ad-Dorra was shot and killed just days after the second Palestinian Intifada started. The uprising began after former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, conducted a provocative visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, along with his armed body guards.
France 2 reporter Sharl Anderlan and his Palestinian Cameraman, Talal Abu Rahma, conducted a thorough investigation of the shooting, and stood by their original footage which showed that ad-Dorra and his father were shot by Israeli soldiers.
The video’s stark image of a father sheltering his child, and then being shot, became well-known internationally as representative of the Israeli military’s tendency to target civilians.
In response to the international outcry brought about by the video, Israel repeatedly claimed that the shots that killed Ad-Dorra did not come from the direction where the military was stationed, and some Zionist lobbyists even went on to claim that the video and the pictures were fabricated.
In 2004, Philippe Karsenty, the head of “Media Ratings” published several counter reports and videos dedicated to denying the deadly shooting of the child, including a claim that the child “was not killed and that he was seen in a market in Gaza buying tomatoes”.
In 2007, a lawsuit was filed against France 2, alleging that the video was fabricated. In response, the French channel said that the lawsuit is an attempt to divert the world attention from real humanitarian suffering.
In November same year, France 2 sued Karsenty for libel, after he openly accused the agency of “broadcasting a hoax”, France 2 won the suit but Karsenty filed an appeal and the court demanded to see the full footage.
France 2 readily submitted an 18-minute video footage of the deadly shooting, but
the appeals court did not examine the contents of the video and other evidence of the shooting, despite having requested the footage.
Instead, the Appeals court dismissed the charge of libel, saying that Karsenty had “practiced his right to criticism, and did not abuse these rights”.
France 2 appealed the dismissal, and the issue will be deliberated by the court this coming February.