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Informations, documents, analysesDebriefing.org
A-Dura / France2 ; des origines (2001) jusqu'au 15 novembre 2007

Chronologie de l'affaire al-Dura (en anglais)
26/01/2007

Mis en ligne le 20/09/06 sur le site de The Augean Stables
Pratiquement aucun des nombreux liens ne fonctionnent sur l'original. On a tenté d'y porter remède ici.

2000

September 30, 2000:
Netzarim – Al-Durah. The father and son seek cover from gunfire and are shot, allegedly by Israelis; the son is killed and the father receives several gun wounds before he is evacuated to a hospital.
Charles Enderlin, Jerusalem bureau chief for France 2, declares the boy killed by Israeli fire, and all major news networks pick up the line. Enderlin and France 2 distribute the 55-second footage to all the networks free of charge.

October 1, 2000:
Southern Command general Yom Tov Samia first denies fault in the boy's death, pending an investigation (Israel TV Channel 1).
Talal Abu Rahma is interviewed on National Public Radio program All Things Considered. Host Jacki Lyden asks him to recount his version of the shooting. Listen to the interview, or read the transcript.

October 2, 2000

Robert Fisk, editor of The Independent , writes an article titled ‘Where caught in the crossfire can leave no room for doubt,' about the press's cowardice in its reluctance to implicate Israel in the killing of al-Durah.
The Telegraph (UK), though not as inflammatory as Fisk, notes al-Durah's death as ‘a provocation for revenge attacks.'

October 3, 2000:
Cameraman Talal Abu Rahma signs a written statement giving his version of the events. It is available in English here.
Israeli chief of army operations Giora Eiland claims responsibility for and regret over al-Durah's death (BBC, CNN ) after a hurried preliminary investigation, thereby overriding Samia's objections.
Award-winning journalist Suzanne Goldenberg, of the Guardian (UK), publishes a lengthy article titled ‘The Making of a Martyr,' in which Mohammed is eulogized and Israelis demonized.
Paris daily Le Monde publishes two articles devoted to Mohammed al-Durah. One is called, ‘the death of a child,' and the other, ‘the emblematic child of Palestine. Both articles lament the inhumanity of the murder, and, naturally, condemn the perpetrators harshly. (HOST)

October 4, 2000
Le Monde reports that IDF major general Moshe Ya'alon admitted the possibility that one of his soldiers could have potentially mistaken the boy and his father for gunmen, and thus fired in their direction (HOST).

October 5, 2000

Jamal al-Durah “seeks international justice” for the killing of his son, Mohammed. Jamal accuses the Israeli soldiers of murder.

October 6, 2000

The Arab League, meeting in Cairo, dedicates October 1 as the ‘day of Arab children,' in honor of Mohammed al-Durra (El Mundo).

October 7, 2000

IDF destroys the wall behind which were hiding Jamal and Mohammed al-Durah, thereby relegating all future investigations of the incident to the realm of simulation.

October 8, 2000

Editorial published in the Boston Globe ( and since reprinted elsewhere ) by Israeli writer Helen Schary Motro describes a personal relationship with Jamal al-Durah, and paints a very different portrait of the man from that which can be gleaned from his other statements.

October 10, 2000

An article in Paris daily Le Monde discusses the losing battle Israel is waging in the war of images, largely a result of their murder of al-Durah, an obviously innocent victim (HOST).

October 11, 2000
Le Monde publishes a feature article about the life of Mohammed al-Durah, and the squalor in which is family continues to live after his death (HOST).

October 12, 2000
Le Monde discusses the most poignant images of the Intifada thus far, with that of al-Durah ranking at the top (HOST)

October 16, 2000
People Weekly runs a brief article about the Mohammed al-Durah tragedy titled “No Way Out: The death of a terrified Palestinian child, caught in a crossfire, shocks even a world accustomed to carnage.”
The Telegraph (UK) describes the determination of Palestinians at the outset of the Intifada. The article is called, ‘We'll buy freedom with our blood, warn Gaza's children.'

October 23, 2000

Physicist Nahum Shahaf and engineer Yosef Doriel lead a re-enactment of the scene under the auspices of Yom Tov Samia. The analysis raises serious doubts about Israel's culpability. Doriel's report can be seen here.

October 24, 2000
CBS' 60 Minutes II, with Bob Simon, films an episode about the escalating Intifada. They dismiss the IDF investigation overtly, and Doriel is removed from the inquiry for prematurely presenting his provocative views to the crew.

October 25, 2000
Charles Enderlin gives an interview in French magazine Télérama, in which he asserts the following : “I cut the images of the child's agony (death throes), they were unbearable. The story was told, the news delivered. It would not have added anything more…As for the moment when the child received the bullets, it was not even filmed.”
French daily Le Monde reports that Abu Rahma receives an award at the Journées cinématographiques de Carthage, and al-Durah is the ‘posthumous star' of the event.

October 30, 2000

Jamal al-Durah participates in an online forum discussion on Arabia.com, in
which he answers questions about the shooting.

November 4, 2000
The New York Times reports that Physicians for Human Rights concluded, based on forensic evidence, that the death of Issam Judeh on October 8, 2000, was a result of a traffic accident, and not a murder, as Palestinian officials loudly claimed. Despite the finding, officials—citing the lack of an autopsy (prohibited in Muslim practice)—refused to concede their version of Judeh's death. The Boston-based group, however, still maintained that Mohammed al-Durah was killed by Israeli M-16 rounds on September 30, 2000.

November 7, 2000
Ha'aretz journalist Anat Cygielman publishes a damning report on the IDF investigation headed by Nahum Shahaf and Yosef Doriel, calling the investigation amateurish.

November 8, 2000

Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz distances himself from the IDF investigation, saying it was the private initiative of Yom Tov Samia, head of Southern Command.

November 9, 2000

CNN reports on the surge in songs supporting the Intifada, recalling al-Durah in particular.

November 10, 2000

The editorial board of Ha'aretz harshly criticizes the ongoing IDF investigation in article entitled ‘Stupidity Marches On.'    

November 27, 2000

The IDF officially releases the findings of its investigation. Samia claims the probability of Israeli bullets hitting the child is low. The press conference
receives negative attention in Israel. Charles Enderlin, meanwhile, reaffirms his confidence in Abu Rahma, his cameraman.

November 30, 200

The London Review of Books (LBR) publishes Mahmoud Darwish's ‘Requiem for Mohammad al-Dura,' a poem portraying the boy as the symbol of the Intifada. Read the poem here .

December 2000
David Kupelian, managing editor of World Net Daily, publishes his exposé, ‘Who Killed Mohammed al-Dura?' in which he posits that the boy was killed by his own people for purposes of propaganda.

December 19, 2000

Sarah Waheed, of Media Monitors Network, emboldened by al-Durah's killing, writes an article titled, quite straightforwardly, ‘Israeli Army Kills Palestinian Children.'    

December 24, 2000

More than 150 schools in Iran are named after Mohammed al-Durah, in solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada, reports IRNA, Iran's news agency (HOST).

December 25, 2000

Time Magazine Europe names Mohammed al-Durah a Newsmaker for 2000.    
2001

January 7, 2001

An article reenacting, in heartrending detail, Mohamed al-Durah's final moments is posted on PalestineRemembered.com.

January 11, 2001
The Mirror (UK) interviews Jamal al-Durah in a very moving piece about the shooting.

January 17, 2001
Talal Abu Rahma is awarded ‘Le Prix de la Communication Culturelle Nord-Sud,' though he is forced to share the prize with ‘all of the children of the Intifada.'

May 2, 2001
Talal Abu Rahma is honored at the Arab Media Awards, though the evening's real star was “Al Aqsa Intifada.”

July 30, 2001
Talal Abu Rahma, in an interview with the newspaper Al-Ahrar, reprinted by ArabicNews.com , reasserted his earlier claims of Israeli brutality in al-Durah's killing.

September 30, 2001
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs publishes an article, “Death of a Palestinian Child,” in its August/September issue, in which proof is offered that Israel was the culprit in al-Durah's death.

October 18, 2001
Talal Abu Rahma is awarded the Sony International Impact Award at the Rory Peck Trust Awards in London.

November 16, 2001
Julia Magnet, “a young, Jewish New-Yorker,” writing for the Telegraph (UK) describes Osama Bin Laden's recruitment video in detail. On page 4, Mohammed al-Durah's role in the video is elaborated upon. Presumably, this is the video on which Magnet is commenting. http://www.rorypecktrust.org/Awards01/talal.htm

December 22, 2001
NPR's On the Media devotes a program to ‘The Images of Mohammed al-Durah,' in which Charles Enderlin, Jamal al-Durah, and Talal Abu Rahma are interviewed. Enderlin claims that “the sad story of Mohammed al-Durrah belongs to the sad reality of this region,” while Abu Rahma pledges proud loyalty to his nation—journalism.

2002

February 21, 2002
The video showing Daniel Pearl's grisly murder is released. Mohammed al-Durah is portrayed repeatedly throughout the clip. Watch the video here (it is fairly gruesome—be advised).

March 18, 2002
German filmmaker Esther Schapira releases her film, “Three Bullets and a Dead Child: Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?” in which she concludes that Israeli bullets could not have killed the boy. France 2, sister station of the German ARD which produced the film, refuses to air it.

March 19, 2002
Several prominent Israeli dailies— Yediot Aharonot , the Jerusalem Post , Ha'aretz , Israel Insider  and Israel National News/Arutz-7   —devote coverage to Schapira's movie. Outside of Israel, however, the film makes little immediate impact.

March 20, 2002
Tom Segev, of Israeli daily Ha'aretz, publishes a scathing editorial  on Schapira's movie, dismissing its conclusions outright.
July 15, 2002
Amnon Lord, Israeli journalist and author publishes ‘Who killed Mohamed al-Dura? Blood Libel—Model 2000' , arguing that indeed the event was staged.

September 19, 2002
Nahum Shahaf, physicist and leader of the IDF's original investigation, is interviewed by the MENA. Shahaf vigorously contends  that the event was entirely staged.
September 30, 2002
Talal abu Rahma sends a fax to France 2 offices in Jerusalem, rescinding his testimony of October 3, 2000, claiming that the latter was not given freely.
October 1, 2002
France 2 director Olivier Mazerolle sends a letter of support  to Charles Enderlin, saying France 2 is behind him.
Charles Gouz, a French physician, republishes an article on his website Desinfos.com  an article by Stéphane Juffa of MENA condemning the protest and the award of the “Disinformation Prize” to Charles Enderlin. This article, available in French , was the alleged cause of France 2's lawsuit against him.
Charles Enderlin gives an interview, in French , on Proche-orient.info, in which he makes a case for the legitimacy of his broadcast, citing, in large part, Israel's admission of guilt in the matter.

October 2, 2002
France 2 director Olivier Mazerolle declares that Schapira's film “does not present anything new.”
Thousands of demonstrators protest outside France 2 offices in Paris for their mishandling of the al-Durah footage. The Jewish Defense League debates, but ultimately does not, award Charles Enderlin the “Prize for Disinformation.”

October 4, 2002
Charles Enderlin denounces a campaign of intimidation against his family in the French magazine L'Humanité.

November 18, 2002
The Metula News Agency (MENA) headed by Stéphane Juffa, requests a meeting
with France 2 in order to conduct an investigation of the al-Durah incident. France 2 does not reply.

December, 2002
In Le Monde Diplomatique, a monthly supplement to the daily Le Monde, Charles Enderlin lashes out at his critics (subscription required ).

2003

January 13, 2003
French author Gérard Huber releases his book Contre-expertise d'un mise en scene (Editions Raphaël). In the book, Huber argues that the event was staged. An English summary of the book is available here .

March 5, 2003
David Kupelian of World Net Daily dramatically concludes , in the monthly Whistleblower, that the entire Mohammed al-Dura affair was a hoax. This article is reprinted in World Net Daily on April 26, 2003.
April 4, 2003
Amnon Lord publishes an article in Makor Rishon detailing General Samia's misgivings about the culpability of Israeli soldiers in al-Durah's death. It is available only in French .

June 2003
James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly becomes the first ‘mainstream' journalist to shed light on the controversial issue. His conclusion is the minimal one: the Israelis could not have shot the boy.
Adam Rose, founder of SupportSanity.org , publishes a response to James Fallows  on his website. He claims that the symbolic truth of the killing is more important than the factual truth, though he does not deny the factual truth.
June 16, 2003
Shehryar Fazli, writing for the Daily Times of Pakistan, attacks the ‘revisionists' for trying to sully the symbolic significance of the al-Durah image.
July 1, 2003
Saudi designer Yahya al-Bishri designs a dress depicting the murder of Mohammed al-Durah.
July 10, 2003
Stéphane Juffa, of MENA, gives an interview , in French, on Primo-Europe, a French media watch site devoted to analyzing European coverage of the Middle East. He discusses Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, as well as the al-Durah case.
September 2003
Charles Enderlin responds to James Fallows' article with a letter to the Atlantic Monthly: “We do not transform reality. But since some parts of the scene are unbearable, France 2 cut a few seconds from the scene, in accordance with our ethical charter.”
Esther Schapira also clarifies her position: “I've always said that I see more significant hints (but no proof) that he [Al Dura] was shot by Palestinians.”
December 25, 2003
Jean-Paul Ney, editor of the online magazine Le Confidentiel , publishes an article in the Metula News Agency (MENA), entitled “Affaire Al-Dura : l'autopsie d'un mensonge .” It is reprinted in Le Confidentiel in its January/February 2004 issue.

2004
February 16, 2004
SNPCA, the union of which France 2 is a part, questions the director of France 2 regarding, among other things, the Mohammed al-Durah affair.

June 17, 2004
Nidra Poller and Gérard Huber submit an article titled ‘Blood Libel International,' to the Israel Hasbara Committee, in which they outline the case thus far.
July 14, 2004
French filmmaker Pierre Rehov, in an article published in World Net Daily , reveals his beliefs that the al-Durah events were staged. Rehov has since committed himself in part to documenting this development.

August 27, 2004
The Jerusalem Post, in the last of a four-part series on Palestinian life four years into the Intifada, publishes a feature article about the al-Durahs, and their continued manipulation at the hands of Hamas and Tanzim.

September 2004
Reader's Digest examines past and present manipulations of news photography. Media Backspin excerpts the portion of the article discussing Mohammed al-Durah.

September 7, 2004
Lee Kaplan favorably reviews and analyzes Esther Schapira's movie about the al-Durah affair on FrontPageMagazine.com.

October 22, 2004
France 2 relents under constant pressure and allows three journalists, Luc Rosenzweig, Denis Jeambar, and Daniel Leconte, to view the complete rushes of Talal from that day.

November 3, 2004
Stéphane Juffa relates, in page-turning prose, the deterioration of France 2's circular arguments and insipid excuses when faced with the persistent skepticism of Rosenzweig, Leconte, and Jeambar. However, he mistakenly titles the piece “The al-Dura case: a dramatic conclusion.”   
November 11, 2004
Juffa updates the public  on the status of the al-Durah case in the online magazine FrontPageMagazine.com (English).
November 16, 2004
France 2 News Director, in an interview with French radio station Radio J, admits that it is impossible to know with 100% certainty whether the Israelis or the Palestinians killed the boy. The interview (in French and in mp3 format) is available here .

November 18, 2004
At a press conference, France 2 news director Arlette Chabot declares the station's intention to file suit against defendants ‘X' for defamation, in response to allegations that the al-Durah footage was staged. Available here (in French).

November 19, 2004
French magazine Télérama examines the possibility that the event was staged, presenting evidence from both sides.

November 22, 2004
Philippe Karsenty publishes an article on his website, Media Ratings, calling for the resignation of Charles Enderlin and Arlette Chabot. It is over this article that France 2 will sue Karsenty for defamation.
November 25, 2004
French MP Roland Blum writes to the Minister of Communication demanding evidence that Mohammed al-Durah was in fact killed by Israeli soldiers.
November 26, 2004
Stéphane Juffa, of MENA, authors an article in the Wall Street Journal Europe titled “The Mythical Martyr.” It is reprinted here .
Nidra Poller publishes an article  in the New York Sun lambasting the French media for its role in the scandal.
December 7, 2004
The French administrative body presiding over audio-visual media (CSA) meets to discuss France 2's handling of the footage, following a complaint written by MENA writer Serge Farnel. Its recommendations are reprinted here , on Farnel's website devoted to the al-Durah affair.
December 28, 2004
Alyssa Lappen, of Commentary Magazine, writes an article titled “The Israeli Crime That Wasn't,” in which she discusses al-Durah and other media manipulations.
2005

January 13, 2005
Cybercast News Service publishes an article about France 2's tactics in combating accusations made by Karsenty, Juffa, and others, about the authenticity of Mohammed al-Durah's death. 
World Editor's Forum briefly expresses it concern that mainstream French has ignored “this polemical story”, though they take no stance on the authenticity of the al-Durah images.

January 20, 2005
Israel National News publishes an article about France 2's campaign of intimidation against its critics.

January 25, 2005
Jeambar and Leconte publish an op-ed in French daily Le Figaro in which they deny any concrete proof that al-Durah was even killed.
January 27, 2005
Charles Enderlin responds to Jeambar and Leconte with an article in Le Figaro. He claims that the footage of al-Durah “the image [of al-Dura] symbolized what was happening at the time not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank.”

February 1, 2005
Jeambar and Leconte are interviewed  on Radio J, a Franco-Jewish radio station. They describe staged scenes for 24 out of the 27 minutes of the footage and speculate about the material evidence used to condemn the Israelis of al-Durah's death.
February 3, 2005
Luc Rosenzweig, a French journalist, and writer for MENA, publishes an article in French accusing Enderlin of lying about the nature of the footage.
February 6, 2005
An article in the International Herald Tribune summarizes the controversy thus far. Though the reporter was allowed to view the rushes, she did not conclude that the event was staged. The article is available here .
Pierre Lurçat, a French-born Israeli lawyer, and former member of the Ligue de Defense Juive (an extremist group banned in Israel), is summoned to appear in court on the charges of defamation against France 2 for his role in organizing the demonstrations of October 2, 2002.

February 10, 2005
In an Internet forum discussion on Nouvel Observateur, a French website, Charles Enderlin insists that the only difference he would make if he were presenting the al-Durah case again, would involve including the child's death-throes [agonie] in the video footage. 
February 15, 2005
Cybercast News Service writer Eva Cahen publishes an article detailing the ongoing controversy and interviewing some of the major players.
February 22, 2005
CAMERA reprints a piece Andrea Levin wrote for the Jerusalem Post a day earlier in which she accuses the French media of overt mendacity. 
February 23, 2005
MENA head Stéphane Juffa attacks the ‘third way' of Jeambar, Leconte, and Rosenzweig for not espousing the theory that the al-Durah murder was staged.
February 26, 2005
Elisabeth Lévy, of radio station France Culture, interviews Daniel Leconte about the power and influence of the Mohammed al-Durah images. A summary of the program is available here, and a partial transcript here, both in French.
March 3, 2005
Clifford D. May, founder of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), calls on French president Jacques Chirac to exercise his authority and reveal the truth of the al-Durah matter.
March 13, 2005
A long entry on Big Bang Blog, by Daniel Schneidermann, analyzes the case and concludes that Charles Enderlin has been the unjust target of criticism ( in French )
April 20, 2005
IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon says, of al-Durah “One hundred percent he was not hit by IDF gunfire. He was apparently shot by a Palestinian police officer.”
September 2005
Commentary Magazine publishes a lengthy and in-depth article by Nidra Poller detailing the entire case and offering insightful commentary on the state of European—particularly French—press.

September 7, 2005
The International Herald Tribune publishes a feature piece on the al-Durah family titled, ‘One martyr from this family is enough.' The article shows the manipulation of the al-Durah tragedy by Palestinian elites, and the continued suffering of the al-Durahs.

September 9, 2005
Yale professor David Gelertner authors a column in the Los Angeles Times in which he affirms that the Mohammed al-Durah shooting was staged, basing his conclusion in large part on Nidra Poller's essay   in Commentary magazine. The article is reprinted here.
September 13, 2005
World Net Daily comments on David Gelernter's column in the Los Angeles Times, specifically regarding the latter's delayed ‘discovery' of the Mohammed al-Durah hoax. WND, of course, had been on the case for five years at that point. Managing editor David Kupelian even released a book, The Marketing of Evil in which he deals with the al-Durah case at length.
September 15, 2005
Richard Landes, history professor at Boston University, launches his DVD, Pallywood, on the Second Draft website. He argues that al-Durah is merely the most famous instance of a larger practice of staging news events among Palestinians.

September 28, 2005
Fawaz Turki, a senior columnist for Arab News, urges his readers to remember, on the five-year anniversary of the Intifada's outbreak, the image of Mohammed al-Durah and its symbolic power.
December 2005
Richard Landes' blog, the Augean Stables, is launched. It provides coverage of the al-Durah affair, as well as a running commentary on breaking news in Middle Eastern cinematography.

December 12, 2005
Ma'ariv, an Israeli daily with no English translation, publishes an article speculating on the current well being of Mohammed al-Durah. Translated into English by Richard Landes. the Second Draft   

December 20, 2005
The al-Durah dossier and movie is made available on

2006

March 14, 2006
Media watch group ACMEDIAS  posts a petition on their site, complete with 4000 signatures, in an attempt to force France 2 to release the al-Durah footage to the public.

May 14, 2006
Yosef Duriel, the engineer who wrote a report about the original IDF investigation in October 2000, sued Aharon Hauptman regarding a letter Hauptman wrote to Ha'aretz in November 2000 criticizing Duriel's investigation. Judge Shoshana Almagor ruled in favor of the defendant, further attacking the plaintiff's report.

May 16, 2006
Front Page Magazine's Jamie Glazov interviews Karsenty on subjects ranging from al-Dura to French anti-Semitism to France's economic situation. Among other things, Karsenty says the following: “the Al Dura controversy is the biggest media scandal in the world.” 
May 24, 2006
World Net Daily writer Cinnamon Shenker writes an article about Karsenty, and the upcoming trial against him.
June 17, 2006
Charles Enderlin participates in a panel discussion on the radio program “L'Hebdo du médiateur,” (The Weekly Moderator), in which he reasserts the authenticity of the original footage, citing the ruling against Duriel as proof. A transcript of the show in French appears at Debriefing.org.   

September 10, 2006
In anticipation of the trial, Honest Reporting interviews Philippe Karsenty about the case, the al-Durah video, and the implications of the lawsuits.

September 14, 2006
The first trial in France 2's defamation suit commences. Philippe Karsenty, founder and editor of Media Ratings, is the defendant. The Augean Stables, Pajamas Media, and Le Figaro, a Paris daily, are all covering the proceedings extensively.
September 17, 2006
The International Herald Tribune covers the first round of the France 2 trials.