Claim No. 1:Muhammad Al Durah was shot in the knee critique

Talal Abu Rahma (the Palestinian France2 cameraman who filmed the scene) claims that Muhammad Al Durah was first shot in the knee; Jamal Al Durah, the father of Muhammad Al Durah – who was with Muhammad at the time of the alleged shooting – told Esther Schapira more specifically that Muhammad was shot in the right knee. However, Dr. Abed El Raqez El-Masry, (the morgue pathologist at Shifa Medical Center, who performed a limited autopsy on the body that France2 avers was that of Muhammad Al Durah) stated definitively that the boy was shot in the left leg.

The contradiction between Jamal Al Durah’s testimony and that of Dr. El Masry is a fundamental one; it takes on particular significance due to the following:

It is clear from Tala Abu Rahma’s video footage that Muhammad’s left leg was closest to the wall behind the Al-Durahs at the time of the alleged shooting – and Muhammad’s right leg was primarily exposed – Therefore, Muhammad’s right leg would have been the one most likely to sustain injury, from any shot. That would seem to fit with Jamal Al Durah’s testimony that Muhammad was shot in the right leg and the appearance of a what seems to be a reddish blotch on Muhammad’s right thigh at one point the film, However, there is no way to reconcile these elements with the autopsy results and Dr. Masry’s unequivocal assertion that the boy’s left leg was the one injured. Dr. Masry also notes that a third bullet entered the boy just below the chest and exited the left hip bone; it is almost certain, therefore, that the left side of the autopsied boy was protected by the wall, while the right side was exposed.

Something just doesn’t add up.

And there is more:

1)    The video of the alleged shooting, filmed by Talal Abu Rahma, shows no injury at all to either of Muhammad’s knees, nor the blood one would expect, at the point where both knees are visible – after Muhammad has allegedly been hit.

As noted above, the video footage does evidence a transitory reddish blotch appearing on Muhammad’s right pant leg near his upper thigh – not the knee. However, the blotch then disappears completely from the leg, only to reappear near Muhammad’s stomach later in the videotape. Upon close examination of the video footage in slow motion, it is readily apparent that the reddish blotch appearing by Muhammad’s right thigh is actually a red-stained rag or handkerchief, held by Muhammad. The movement of Muhammad’s hand as he clutches the red-stained cloth accounts for the complete disappearance of the blotch from his thigh. The red-stained cloth also accounts for the “blood” which seems to appear on Muhammad’s stomach later in the video. For further discussion of this cloth, see our analysis below of claim #2 Muhammad was shot in the stomach and the shot “exploded his stomach”.

In brief – elementary cross-referencing of the various sources claiming that Muhammad Al-Durah was shot in the knee, in conjunction with the video evidence of the “shooting” reveals a series of fundamental and irreconcilable evidentiary contradictions.

Despite these contradictions and despite Enderlin’s clear knowledge of the handkerchief issue, as indicated here and here Enderlin continued to promote Talal Abu Rahma’s version of events – well after he knew or should have known that account was problematic

One can only speculate on the reason for Charles Enderlin’s  refusal to follow the evidence and his dogged persistence in promoting a thoroughly untenable account of the incident, rather than question the integrity of his sources.

When an investigative journalist who prides himself on promoting truth summarily wilfully ignores ignores hard evidence, preferring to  elevate mere supposition above factual investigation – and insistently blinkers himself to the possibility of error – journalism takes a dark turn.


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