More faked Middle East coverage

There is a vibrant industry in the Middle East. It consists of faking photo opportunities to make look bad. I’ve covered some in the past such as the so called bombed ambulance.

One of the biggest hoaxes has just been confirmed in a French court, as detailed by this excellent article by Piers Akerman.

THE death of 12-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammed al-Durra by “gunfire from the direction of the Israeli” forces, as reported by French TV reporter Charles Enderlin, was huge world news eight years ago.

But it now seems that what we saw was not what actually happened. The dramatic footage of the youngster crouched beside his father as “Israeli” bullets whizzed by him, the scenes of his death and his father’s wounding were ghastly but compelling viewing.

Invocations of the young al-Durra’s death became a regular ritual on Palestinian television, songs encouraging children to join him in martyrdom were written, streets were named after him, mothers were exhorted to encourage their infants to be like him, his image was even used on stamps.

The al-Durra imagery truly became, in the words of one Canadian journalist, “the farce that launched a thousand suicide bombers”.

Okay so this is not some minor footage. This is an iconic video.

Doubts arose about the footage shot by a Palestinian cameraman for the network France 2 when it was revealed the same person had been responsible for faking other news footage.

People need to know that almost all the international media use Palestinian stringers, with little checking for accuracy. Associated Press has been one of the worst offenders.

The independent investigators led by Philippe Karsenty, a director of the Media-Ratings watchdog, went further and said the scenes had been staged and that report was a “hoax”.

He was sued for defamation and lost in the initial court, but has just won in the Court of Appeal. Now wait to see what was revealed in court:

The inflammatory report was essentially destroyed when he ordered the government-owned broadcaster to produce all the raw footage shot of the incident and instead of a few seconds of film, an 18-minute excerpt, still not the complete sequence, was shown to the court.

It revealed staged battle scenes, rehearsed ambulance evacuations – but nothing to substantiate the toxic report.

No shots were seen coming from the Israeli position, no bullets were shown striking the boy, no blood was seen on the father’s shirt, though he was said to have cradled his eviscerated son in his arms, and the boy is seen to move, even to look conspiratorially at the camera, when he is supposed to have been dead.

Yes, he looked at the camera *after( he was shot dead. And French TV had this footage but never showed it – they just showed the hand picked segments which supported the story.

More damning evidence is on the Wall Street Journal.

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