Forensic Blood Analysis

To our knowledge, no blood was ever recovered from the scene and subjected to forensic analysis that would affirm or contravene the allegations that Muhammad Al Durah and Jamal Al Durah were injured by gunfire at Netzarim junction on September 30, 2000. No one other than Palestinian militants, or “security forces” or those cooperating with them could approach the scene of the alleged shooting following the incident. The Palestinian authorities who surveyed the scene later simply assumed the conclusion of their “investigation” – and thus excused themselves from conducting one.

Major General Saeb al -Ajez, appointed as police chief for the West Bank and Gaza in 2004 by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, made the following comments  about the Palestinian investigation of the Al Durah affair when interviewed by Esther Schapira in her 2008 documentary “Das Rote Quadrat Drei Kuglen und ein totes Kind.”

Ajez: “When there are differences in the assessment of a specific case – when further inquiries prove necessary- then, of course, an investigation is mounted. But when there is an agreement over the identity of the culprit, then there is no need to conduct a detailed investigation.”

Interviewer: “Then what do you all agree on?”

Ajez: “That it was the Israeli side that committed this murder”.

France2′s footage, shot by Talal Abu Rahma, is the only video record of the incident itself. It was solely upon this footage – and Abu Rahma’s characterization of its content — that France2 based its claim of a shooting. The examination of any blood evidence at the scene is limited to the video taken on the day of the incident and the day following, by France2.

Talal Abu Rahma and Jamal Al Durah  maintain, inter alia, that Muhammad Al Durah was hit by three shots in all – one of which “exploded his  stomach”, per Abu Rahma. Charles Enderlin of France2 adds that Muhammad’s body evidenced an “exit wound” in his back. Dr. Abed El Raqez El-Masry, the morgue pathologist at Shifa Medical Center -who performed a limited autopsy on the body that France2 asserted was Muhammad’s – adds that Muhammad was also struck by a bullet that entered Muhammad’s chest and exited his left thigh, shredding major blood vessels.  Jamal Al Durah also claims that he was shot multiple times (either nine or 12 times depending upon the account) in his hand, leg and lower body. Talal Abu Rahma purports that the rounds which struck Jamal were “explosion bullets”.

If the above allegations concerning the nature of the Al Durahs’ injuries were accurate, both Jamal and Muhammad should have been visibly drenched in blood and the wall behind them should also have evidenced extensive blood-spatter. Indeed, the gore that the injuries alleged should have occasioned would likely have precluded broadcast of the video during prime time news.

However, there is no blood spatter to be seen anywhere in the video of the scene. A review of France2’s footage of the incident shows no blood on Jamal -although he was supposedly hit between 9 and 12 times – and none anywhere on the wall behind the Al Durahs- despite the purported exit wound in Muhammad’s back. At the end of the video, footage of the ground where the Al Durahs were located shows no blood on the ground, although Talal Abu Rahma claims Muhammad lay on the ground for at least 17 minutes bleeding from the wound that “exploded his stomach”.

The only possible indication of blood on either of the Al Durahs – a reddish blotch which appears on Muhammad’s right pant leg and then disappears entirely later in the video, only to reappear near Muhammad’s stomach — is also inconsistent with the hemorrhaging alleged by those who claim that IDF fire caused the Al Durahs grievous harm. Indeed, a close examination of this transitory blotch in particular might provide an essential key in determining the salient facts underlying the production of Talal Abu Rahma’s video footage of the incident

In essence, those alleging that Israeli soldiers shot Muhammad Al Durah and his father, Jamal, on September 30, 2000 make nine testable claims about the injuries allegedly sustained by the Al Durahs at the scene – Below, we critique each of the claims — testing their internal consistency and plausibility in light of the physical evidence. Such analysis is fundamental to any serious evaluation of the claims’ veracity.


 
Claim No. 1: Muhammad Al Durah was shot in the knee
Progenitors of the claim

Talal Abu Rahma (the Palestinian France2 cameraman who filmed the scene); Jamal Al Durah (father of Muhammad Al Durah); Dr. Abed El Raqez El-Masry, the morgue pathologist at Shifa Medical Center who performed a limited autopsy on the body that France2 claims was that of Muhammad Al Durah) all say Muhammad was shot in the knee. However, as explicated below, the specifics of the claims are contradictory.

Aldurah.com critique

The contemporaneous video footage taken by Talal Abu Rahma of the alleged shooting shows no blood on either of Muhammad’s knees.  That video footage is the sole evidence upon which the claim of any shooting was based. A transitory reddish blotch does appear on Muhammad’s right pant leg near his upper thigh. The blotch then disappears, only to reappear near Muhammad’s stomach.

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 2: Muhammad was shot in the stomach and the shot “exploded his stomach”
Progenitors of the claim

Talal Abu Rahma (the Palestinian France2 cameraman who filmed the scene), Muhammad Kadra (interviewed by Canal+ in 2008 as the ambulance stretcher bearer who allegedly evacuated Muhammad Al Durah to Shifa Hospital) and Dr. Abed El Raqez El-Masry (the pathologist at Shifa Hospital purported to have autopsied Muhammad’s body) all claim that Muhammad suffered a grievous/fatal stomach wound.

Aldurah.com critique

A stomach wound of this nature should have produced massive blood loss (and blood spatter, if the bullet “exploded” Muhammad’s stomach” – as claimed by Abu Rahma, or was caused by “explosion bullets” (sic.) which Abu Rahma claimed were being used by the IDF that day (see below). The video evidence of the alleged incident and its aftermath – and video from the following day – is inconsistent with such bleeding.

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 3: “The wound in the back is an exit wound”
Progenitors of the claim

Charles Enderlin – based upon photographs presented by Dr. Abed El Raqez El-Masry, (the morgue pathologist at Shifa Medical Center who performed a limited autopsy on the body that France2 claims was that of Muhammad Al Durah) – stated that Muhammad Al Durah “…was not shot from the back. The wound in the back is an exit wound.”
Jamal Al Durah also claims a bullet exited Muhammad’s back.

Aldurah.com critique

All the contemporaneous video evidence of the alleged incident and its aftermath – and video of the scene taken following evacuation of the Al Durahs – is inconsistent with Muhammad Al Durah‘s having suffered  the wounds described, at the scene of the alleged shooting. There is no blood spatter visible at all on Jamal  Al Durah nor on the wall behind the Al Durahs.

In addition, as thoroughly explicated by Esther Schapira, we have absolutely no definitive evidence regarding the true identity of the body autopsied, nor how and when the body sustained the injuries reported, nor – perhaps most important – by whom the injuries were inflicted.

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 4: “Sometimes you have internal bleeding. Some-times you have some injuries where a bullet gets in and out sometimes it doesn’t bleed.”
Progenitors of the claim

Charles Enderlin offers a theory of pristine wounds in an effort bridge the substantial logical gap between the claims of multiple grievous wounds suffered by the Al Durahs during the alleged shooting and the lack of blood discernible, both upon the Al Durahs and at the scene following the incident.

Aldurah.com critique

Charles Enderlin’s surmise that the lack of blood at the scene could be explained this way beggars belief in the context of Talal Al Rahma’s claim that a bullet “exploded the boy’s stomach”, the bloodiness of the scene that Talal Abu Rahma describes, Jamal Al Durah’s claim that “the second bullet came out his back” when he and Muhammad Al Durah were huddled together by the barrel and Talal Abu Rahma’s additional allegation that the Israelis used explosive bullets – not to mention Enderlin’s own dogged persistence in maintaining that there was blood –

For the broader context of Charles Enderlin’s speculation see the expanded critique of this claim:

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 5: The boy lay bleeding from his stomach wound for 17 minutes
Progenitors of the claim

Talal Abu Rahma (the France2 cameraman who filmed the alleged shooting) claims that Muhammad Al Durah lay bleeding for 17 minutes before an ambulance came to pick up the boy and his father, Jamal Al Durah. The evacuation by ambulance was not filmed.

Aldurah.com critique

Bleeding in a prone position for 17 minutes from a wound that “exploded” a victim’s stomach would normally leave copious amounts of blood on the ground beneath the wound. However, following the alleged shooting, there is no indication of blood on the ground were Muhammad lay…

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 6 When the ambulance drive evacuated Muhammad Al Durah, the boy’s intestines were outside of his body.
Progenitors of the claim

A by Canal+ documentary, aired on August 24, 2008, identified Muhammad Kadra as the ambulance stretcher bearer who evacuated Muhammad Al Durah’s body on September 30, 2000 from the scene following the alleged shooting. Kadra reported that Muhammad Al Durah was dead when he reached him and that Muhammad’s intestines were expelled onto the ground as a result of the shooting.

Aldurah.com critique

Here is Kadra’s interview with Canal+:

First and foremost, Muhammad Kadra’s claim about Muhammad Al Durah’s injuries is subject to the same objections we have raised elsewhere in this section, since the video footage of the scene during and after the alleged shooting shows no evidence of the massive bleeding that must have accompanied a wound which emptied a boy’s intestines onto the ground.

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 7: Multiple bullets struck Jamal’s legs, body, and arm
Progenitors of the claim

Talal Abu Rahma and Jamal Al Durah both testified that Jamal was hit by multiple rounds in the legs body and arm. Jamal Al Durah said his body was “full of holes.”

Aldurah.com critique

If Jamal Al Durah actually suffered the injuries claimed, the contemporaneous video of the incident filmed by Tala Abu Rahma should have shown a lot of blood on Jamal’s clothes and person. Video footage of the scene taken immediately following the incident also should have shown lots of blood on wall behind Jamal Al Durah. Indeed, if Jamal Al Durah had received even a small portion of the bullets he claimed to have absorbed, the injuries sustained would have left him resembling Swiss cheese by the end of the video – However, Tala Abu Rahma’s video indicates that Jamal Al Durah was completely intact during the scene and at its conclusion – and showed no bleeding, at all.

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 8: Jamal Al Durah, at least, was injured by explosive bullets fired by the IDF
Progenitors of the claim

Talal Abu Rahma – the Palestinian France2 photojournalist – who was the only photojournalist to film the alleged shooting, among the scores of media personnel at the scene that day – obliquely claimed that the IDF fired upon – and hit – the Al Durahs with explosive rounds.

Aldurah.com critique

If Talal Abu Rahma’s allegations that the IDF hit the Al Durahs with explosive rounds were true, then the Al Durahs – especially Jamal Al Durah, who variously claimed to have been struck between 9 and 12 times – should have evidenced massive hemorrhaging by the end of the videotaped scene. However, even at the end of the scene recorded by Talal Abu Rahma, both Jamal and Muhammad Al Durah are completely intact. Jamal Al Durah shows no sign of bleeding or physical injury, at all.

This critique is expanded here


 
Claim No. 9: There was blood at the scene, and on the ground by the barrel the next day
Progenitors of the claim

Talal Abu Rahma and Charles Enderlin, among others, allege that there was blood visible during the alleged shooting and on the ground the morning after the incident. The photographic evidence shows precisely the opposite.

Aldurah.com critique

Close examination of Talal Abu Rahma’s contemporaneous video evidence of the “shooting” – and clear photographic evidence of the scene taken after the shooting and broadcast by France2 itself the day after the shooting contradict the allegations of blood at the scene – both during and following the alleged shooting.

This critique is expanded here


 


 

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