Jack Chivo: The last nail in the coffin of the al-Durrah fraud

On February 15, 2012, the French Supreme Court hammered the last nail in the coffin of a fraud perpetrated for almost 12 years by the Palestinian propaganda machine.

The court totally vindicated an Israeli surgeon, Dr. Yehuda David, accused by one the principal actors of the fabrication, Jamal al-Durrah, of breaching the patient-doctor confidentiality, when he disclosed that al-Durrah lied when he presented five year-old wounds as proof that he has shot in 2000 by Israeli soldiers.

Many will surely remember the big hoopla in September 2000, when the world media was buzzing with the story of a young Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Durrah, allegedly killed by the Israelis in Gaza, while hiding behind a steel barrel during a confrontation with the Hamas forces.

The only "witness" to the incident was a Palestinian cameraman employed by the France 2 television station, who took pictures of the father and son. They were next to a concrete wall pocked with deep holes from bullets fired from heavy machine guns, which allegedly killed the boy and severely wounded the father.

From day one, there was a different reaction from both sides. The Palestinians reacted with fury and, for many months afterwards, there were marches all around the Arab world, with stamps issued showing the young martyr, poems written about him, and streets renamed on his memory.

The Israelis appointed a number of commissions, concluding that because of their soldiers' positions, across from the two in an angle, it would have been impossible, ballistically, for them to aim at the al-Durrah father and son—and there was no proof that the child was even dead, or that the father was wounded by the Israelis.

Over the next few years, while the Pallywood propaganda was in full gear, a number of investigations and reports by media outlets around the world, including one from the official German television network (the equivalent of our CBC) came to the same conclusion.

There was one exception, the French France 2 station, which had spread the story around in the first place, through its Jerusalem correspondent, Charles Enderlin. Even worse, when the station was asked to provide the raw footage of the incident, running for about one hour, it steadfastly refused, releasing less than one minute of the recordings.

At the time, I wrote myself a few columns in which I raised a number of additional questions, especially about the fact that while the bullet holes seen in the massive concrete wall behind the al-Durrahs were about one-inch wide and very deep. This meant that they were from high calibre and powerful bullets, which would have shredded to pieces any part of a human body they would have penetrated.

The shirts that the two wore after they were allegedly already dead or wounded by dozens of projectiles were immaculately clean. Moreover, after 20 minutes of allegedly serious injuries, there was not even one drop of blood on the pavement where the two were prostrated.

I also wondered about the cicatrices shown by Jamal, the father, a few weeks after the incident, which appeared to be old and healed for a long time.

The fight in France was taken on by a French media observer, Philippe Karsenty, who directly accused France 2 of showing a fabricated story and alleged that the whole incident was nothing but a staged falsehood.

Rather than proving its point with facts, France 2 choose the legal avenue and took Karsenty to court, accusing him of libellous statements.

In the first instance, France 2 won, even while refusing to show the original tape, but Karsenty went to the French Court of Appeals, where he was victorious hands down. A renowned French ballistics expert demolished the whole theory of the incident after France 2 was forced to present the raw footage, where it was clear that there was not even one image of the two being shot or wounded.

The tape also showing the young "victim" raising his head with the eyes wide open and looking around—a few minutes after the cameraman and France 2 in its original reporting had declared him dead.

But the story continued with a strange twist, which was finally put to rest on February 15 by the Supreme Court of France. During the Israeli investigation, a surgeon from a Tel Aviv hospital, Dr. David, stated that the injuries and cicatrices shown by Jamal were not new, because five years earlier, he had operated on him after Jamal was viciously tortured by Hamas enforcers on trumped charges.

Because of the severity of Jamal's injuries, he had been transferred to the Israeli hospital, where Dr. David saved his life. After Jamal disputed Dr. David's report, the Israeli doctor released from his file pictures of Jamal with his old healed wounds, which were a perfect match for the alleged new injuries. Which put the Jamal claim to rest.

And here comes the twist. Afterward, Jamal did not pretend anymore that these were new wounds. But, supported by some unknown benefactors with deep pockets, while still residing in Gaza he sued Dr. David in a French court for "breaching the patient/doctor confidentiality".

In the first instance he won, but the Supreme Court later totally reversed the judgement, most probably because, by going public with his injuries, Jamal was the first one to breach the rules of confidentiality.

Will this be the end of the al-Durrah saga, which appears to have gone full circle, with all of the false allegations being finally demolished by the courts? I would not hold my breath!

Jack Chivo is a retired journalist who lives in West Vancouver.




Feb 18, 2012 at 1:14am

Thank you Jack for informing us about the outcome of this sharade. I watched the video of the father and son posing. It was obvious to me that the whole thing was being staged.


Feb 19, 2012 at 8:01pm

The Hate by both the Israeli supporters & Palestinians is disturbing and so Sad.

There can be no doubt that these two got caught in the cross-fire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian Police.

Most likely they were both shot & killed by BOTH sides in the Cross-Fire.

This is not just one incident both Israel & Arabs routinely kill Civilians in their HATRED of each other each justifying each incident.

Their are NO INNOCENT Party BOTH Israel & Palestinians (Arabs) have blood on their hands.

The disturbing thing is that these people from both sides continue a Propaganda War in Countries like Canada via their supporters.

Look at the author of this article it is clear to any reasonable person that his view is support for Israel over the years.

Countries like Canada are used to provide both financial & military support for both sides.

We should all stop to accept any propaganda from both sides & their various supporters.


Feb 20, 2012 at 3:59pm

i could care less about this sham case, but this author has zero knowledge of forensics. just because the holes are large, does not mean they were of 'higher caliber' you realize there are dozens of different types of ammunition right? some of them are designed to explode on impact blasting huge holes in walls and they are small caliber.

security forces typically use these kinds of rounds because they like to single out the leader of a protest and make sure they kill him. they don't want their bullets going straight through him and taking out 10 other people. almost all armies and police use these kinds of exploding bullets and full jacketing. ask the Syrians.

speaking of Syria, where is your pro-Israel piece extolling their merciful generosity on the Syrian people who are now getting executed wholesale by Bashar? nowhere. Because Israel is Bashar's friend.. they're gambling he is the lesser of two evils and would rather prop him up as a dictator then allow the Syrians to be free which is a major mistake not becoming an ally to the inevitable.. that being Bashar's demise.

Jack Chivo

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:47am

With all due respect for "dur", I never alleged to have expertise in forensics, but, as a former junior officer (res) in my home country, I have some knowledge in ballistics, having fired thousands of rounds from different weapons. And I know their deadly effect!

And for the findings of the Court of Appeals in France, they were based on the expertise of the foremost ballistics specislist in the country.

The criticism about my alleged silence concerning the slaughter in Syria is equally misplaced. If "dur" finds the time, I would respectfully recommend that he googles my article from August 2011, "Silence on Syria speaks volumes," posted here in the Georgia Straight.

I would further recommend that he directs his criticism towards the "usual suspects", those who always march on the streets when the Americans or the Brits are doing something wrong in Iraq or elsewhere, but are silent now.

The union leaders, the NDP, CUPE and other soul mates.

Please ask them why they close both eyes when thousands of Syrians are slaughtered every day, helped with weapons and ammunitions by Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, China, Sudan.


Feb 22, 2012 at 7:51pm

This dialogue reminds me of question period in the House of Commons. The opposition asks a question, the government anwers and the opposition asks the same question over and over again.
Here we have a case of the French court declaring this video a fake and that both father and son walked away safe and sound (I watched the video). Yet respondents postulate that both were killed. All I can do is shake my head.

Asher Pat

Feb 28, 2012 at 12:06am

A couple of corrections: "while hiding behind a steel barrel during a confrontation with the Hamas forces" - The barrel was made of concrete (actually it was not a barrel, rather a piece of concrete pipe, or something like this, but definelty not steel). And the confrontation was not with Hamas forces, but rather with the Fatah (Hamas had not taken over by then).

"They were next to a concrete wall" - the wall was not made of conrete, rather of bulding blocks.

Other than that, yes it is a blood libel, and very probably a staged event. Too many keystrokes were made on this incident, I wont wast time, just hope that Karsenty's final stage of the trial (French Cour the Cassation, or something like this) will not overturn the decision of the appeal court that cleared him of libel of France 2 and Enderlin. Fingers crossed.

Able Seaman

Feb 28, 2012 at 10:47am

@ "dur" Mon, 2012-02-20 15:59

"i could care less about this sham case"

That says it all. The mohammedan world went ballistic over this, with stamps issued showing the young martyr, poems written about him, and streets renamed in his memory. How many were killed and wounded over this sick, evil lie? That damage was done, and cannot be undone.

But because it's been shown to be a fraud (of the most monstrous proportions), 'dur' and his sinislam friends (the unions, rabble, MAWO) just move on to the next lie.

Able Seaman

Feb 28, 2012 at 4:57pm

@ "Sad" Sun, 2012-02-19 20:01

"Most likely they were both shot & killed by BOTH sides in the Cross-Fire."

So SAD, if you can't pin it on Israel, say both sides are to blame. Equivocate like crazy, without watching the videos. They show a mob attacking an Israeli post, a long way from where the al-Durrahs were, but directly opposite a building where a 'movie' was being shot. Maybe they were part of that movie; maybe something went wrong; maybe something went as planned.

Robert Neindl

Mar 1, 2012 at 11:32am

It would seem that the writer was too eager to see the story with a certain slant. The actual decision was not that Dur had lied about being shot that day. The thorough medical report was accepted as fact. What the court found was that Dr. David, while speaking untruthfully, was not speaking with slanderous intention. You may read this here (http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/rubbing-salt-into-the-wound...), written by Rafi Walden, among other things, personal physician to president Shimon Peres (hardly a 'Pallywood' propagandist.