One of the Palestinians’ greatest public relations coups was the death of Mohammed al Dura, a boy who was caught in a crossfire between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli troops in Gaza in 2000, and fatally shot. The Palestinians claimed, of course, that al Dura was shot by the Israelis. The image of al Dura and his father, captured by a film crew, has become iconic and is featured on stamps in several Arab countries. Like this one:
As more facts came to light, others interpreted the case as an early instance of video fauxtography. There is strong reason to think that al Dura was shot by the Palestinian rioters; go here and here for background on the case.
Currently, in France, a long-running libel trial is in progress. The plaintiffs are the France 2 television channel and its Middle East correspondent, Charles Enderlin; the defendant is Phillipe Karsenty, who wrote that France 2’s video footage was staged.
The most recent development in the trial is testimony by an independent ballistics expert, Jean-Claude Schlinger, to the effect that al Dura was shot by the Palestinians, not the Israelis:
A report presented to a French court last week by an independent ballistics expert maintains that the death of Mohammed al-Dura, a Palestinian child seen being shot in the Gaza Strip during the first days of the intifada in September 2000, could not have been the result of Israeli gunfire, corroborating claims that the shocking footage was doctored. ***
In his report, Schlinger wrote, “If Jamal [the boy’s father] and Mohammed al-Dura were indeed struck by shots, then they could not have come from the Israeli position, from a technical point of view, but only from the direction of the Palestinian position.”
He also wrote, “In view of the general context, and in light of many instances of staged incidents, there is no objective evidence that the child was killed and his father injured. It is very possible, therefore, that it is a case [in which the incident was] staged.”