The Al-Durah Affair is an incident, in Sept. 2000, involving a 12-year-old Palestinian boy named Mohammed Al-Durah who, Palestinians alleged, was killed by IDF fire (during a firefight between Israeli and Palestinian forces) while crouched in front of a wall with his father at the Netzarim Junction in Gaza.
Despite the fact that claims the boy was killed by IDF fire that day – based on an entirely inconclusive 59 second video clip – have been discredited, Israel’s guilt was accepted blindly by the media, and al-Durah became an icon of Palestinian “martyrdom” in the Arab and Muslim world.
The framing of the incident also reinforced, some have persuasively argued, the lethal media narrative that Israel murders Palestinian kids.
However, despite the dearth of actual evidence, some in the media to this day persist in accepting, without question, these completely unsubstantiated Palestinian claims that Israeli soldiers killed the boy.
The latest example involves a Dec. 16th article in The Independent on the recent death of a disabled Palestinian man, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, on the Gaza border during clashes with Israeli soldiers. The article included a passage suggesting that the death of Abu Thuraya (in highly disputed circumstances) on the Gaza border, during violent protests last month, evokes the death of Mohammed Al Durah.
As you can see from our tweet to the journalist, Rachel Roberts, the article suggested that Israel’s responsibility for the young boy’s death was an indisputable fact.
.@TheRachelPaper Hi Rachel. This sentence (attached) from your @Independent article is misleading. Cause of Mohammed al-Dura's death in 2000 is disputed. You write as if it's a settled fact. See previous report by Indy https://t.co/Jb7NR5zwUi pic.twitter.com/JCX3XFDvJv
— CAMERA UK (formerly UK Media Watch and BBC Watch) (@CAMERAorgUK) December 17, 2017
Though the journalist didn’t respond to our tweet, we contacted Indy editors who eventually upheld our complaint and placed the word “allegedly” before the word “killed” in the sentence we highlighted:
Mohammed al-Dura was a 12-year-old boy allegedly killed by Israeli forces during rioting on the Gaza Strip in 2000, prompting worldwide condemnation and violent retribution.
Editors also added the following text:
The Israeli government has denied that Israeli forces were responsible for the child’s death.
You can learn more about the al-Durah incident here.
- A blood libel is born: Fisking the Guardian’s original reporting on Mohammed al-Dura. (UK Media Watch)
- Economist cartoon evokes Mohammed al-Dura. (UK Media Watch)