An excerpt from the conclusions of an independent ballistics report concerning the death of Muhammad al Dura, a Palestinian boy who has, since 2000 become a lionized figure due to a report with footage showing his and his father’s death by France 2’s Charles Enderlin. A great deal of controversy has risen over that report. He was said to have been shot by Israeli troops, which made the child a poster image of the Palestinians and the western radical left. Technical analysis of their relative positions done shortly after the event, and reports those on the scene have demonstrated that the report was a fabrication using the local stringers working for the world press as a means of fabricating this event for political purposes. Since France 2 wanted to indulge its’ audience and sell the footage worldwide, it practiced as it often has a sort of transparent side-taking in reporting news that it thinks it can conceal, even when it contains fabrications.
From the ballistics report:
The protesters, mostly adolescents and children, threw stones at the Israeli checkpoint. The general atmosphere was good-natured, people walk quietly and vehicles drove along the road from Gaza. Some young and people and a man near a jeep appear injured, but they are simulations, with several subjects identified. Many shots were fired, but it is not possible to identify their source. Many journalists covered the event.The boy was killed for the exploitation of political radicals with the aid of partisans in the press who are too dihonest to state their political motives, and are willing to fabricate news stories that advance causes that fit in with their own opinions.
The one minute long report by France 2 was titled “the death of Mohamed AL DOURA” and was aired on September 30, 2000. We found a shot the wall above and Mohammed Jamal. A total of eight Impacts are present on this wall, after which the AL DOURA child is seen lying motionless, and not through an impact on the barrel (behind which they were shown taking cover). The sequence matching the moment when Mohamed was injured is unclear. Many factors are likely create doubt that the father and son were hit by projectiles.
According to the statements, Mohamed was injured in his right knee and his stomach, but no trace of impact or blood was visible on his clothes. Although France 2 photographer Talal Abu Rhama said that the child had bled for ten to fifteen minutes, no trace of blood was visible on the ground.
A doctor indicated that if the wound in the stomach was from a bullet that fully entered him, projections of blood and flesh would be visible on the wall (which they were up against), which does not appear on the Photographs of the BBC covering the ten seconds after the France 2 report.
It was said that Jamal was hit on the right arm, abdomen, and legs, while no trace of impact or blood was visible on his clothes. In addition, the location of these indicated injuries was hidden either by the barrel and by the body of his son, who were between him and the direction of the rounds.
Therefore he could not be in the condition described by France 2’s report. Talal Abu Rhama said that gunshots were directed at Jamal and Mohamed AL DOURA for at least forty minutes. Had that been the case, and assuming that a single shooter has concentrated his fire in their direction during the entire time, more that eight impacts that would have been shown to be on the wall above them, but a minimum of two thousand.
While many other cameramen were present at the scene, only France 2 filmed the episode of the "death" of the child. The Israeli police post is located 80 yards from where Jamal and Mohamed AL DOURA took cover. Depending on the plan which we have been provided, the angle of fire is about 36 degrees to the wall behind them. In this situation, the father and the child could not be fired on by the Israeli post for the following reasons:
Jamal Mohamed AL DOURA and were protected by the barrel they used for cover, and it shows no trace of shots through it. In this position, they certainly could not been hit in the lower limbs [as France 2 stated].
The test firing conducted with the weapons used at the time by the Israeli army showed that the impact characteristics of allegedly oblique gunfire have been substantially elongated and are almost horizontal. Those visible on the wall are generally circular, which corresponds to shots fired
Perpendicular to the plane of the wall [not at the oblique angle].
Talal Abu Rhama said that fire came from behind him, while the Israeli checkpoint was sharply to his right and slightly behind his camera location.
It is not likely that the cameraman from Reuters and another journalist would be located next to Mohamed AL DOURA before his death because they would have left them open to the direction of the Israeli fire [not covered as the al Duras were].