One of the more grotesque elements of the al Durah affair is the lack of blood in the footage. Jamal is allegedly hit by 8 bullets, Muhammad by 3, one fatal wound in the stomach. Since stomach wounds kill primarily from loss of blood, one would expect a sea of blood on the sidewalk where he lay. After all, Talal insisted that he bled for “twenty minutes” while the ambulance could not come because the Israelis were firing incessantly.
Having seen the tapes at France2 shot by Talal the following day, I know that in the morning, when Talal was there, there was no sign of blood behind the barrel. At most the area directly behind the barrel was a bit darker. (Enderlin suggested to me that the Palestinians had covered it over with sand. Even so, the area of “coverage” would have been much larger.)
[NB: Since I wrote this, Esther Schapira has been able to take a still from Abu Rahma's footage:]
Apparently the lack of blood became a problem when the foreign reporters — stupid but not necessarily corrupt — came. For them, the Palestinian handlers of the affair needed blood. And so they supplied it.
Note the color (by the next day — even within an hour — the blood would have turned dark). Note also the placement. This is directly under where Jamal sat. But the boy, spilling his blood for twenty minutes, would have covered the area where the soldiers are standing and back towards the cameraman.
For a comparison, here is what a real dead person who has spilled real blood looks like.
Indeed, the presence of these men at a scene that should be an investigative site shows just how cavalier with the evidence the Palestinians acted in this case. As the general who should have investigated put it to an interviewer:
“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 no investigation is necessary.”
“Then what do you all agree on?”
“That it was the Israeli side that committed this murder.”
And then the reporters show up, like Suzanne Goldenberg of the Guardian, eager for the lurid story, exercising not a fraction of an ounce of critical judgment. Not one embarrassing question.
A circle of 15 bullet holes on a cinder block wall, and a smear of darkening blood. That is what marks the spot where a terrified 12-year-old boy spent his final moments, cowering in his father’s arms, before he was hit by a final shot to the stomach, and slumped over, dead.