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Israel disputes French TV claim on boy’s death

May 19, 2013

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Sunday completed an investigation into a decade-old French TV report that claimed Israeli forces killed a Palestinian boy in a gunbattle with Palestinian militants, saying the video was misleading and unfairly blamed Israel.

France 2 network’s images from Sept. 30, 2000, days after a Palestinian uprising erupted, allegedly showed the death of Mohammed al-Dura, cowering with his father during intense gunfire between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The circumstances remain disputed.

The government report released Sunday raised doubts about Israel’s role in the death, saying the France 2 report blamed Israel without having enough proof to do so. It says al-Dura was shown alive toward the end of raw video obtained from France 2, an image that was not included in the edited report.

In a response, France 2 said it was not contacted by the committee investigating the video. It said it would be willing to help al-Dura’s father, Jalal, exhume his son’s body to “clarify the circumstances of the incident.”

Al-Dura has become a symbol for Palestinians who accuse Israel of using excessive force. Israel says the video has been used by militants as an excuse to attack Israelis.

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