I received this from a reader at the Second Draft.
Dear Richard Landes,
Firstly, thank you for your informative and crucial work.
I have a question which I hope you can answer. I have just been reading the article ‘Who Killed Muhammed Al Dura?‘ by Amnon Lord, in which he states that: “Some twenty TV photographers were in the area and not one of them filmed it [the shooting of the ambulance driver], while the scene depicting the death of Al-Dura was filmed by Abu-Rahma and one other photographer. (Shahaf later discovered the second photographers film.)”
One of the things that made me highly suspicious of the Al-Dura scene was that it was based on the testimony and witness of one, evidently dishonest Palestinian stringer. The fact that other, independant footage of the event exists makes me less certain that we have been deceived. Why have I heard so little mention of this alternative footage? I would like to know who was it made by, and what does it show?
Two other cameramen were at the scene while the Al Durahs were allegedly pinned behind the barrel although they got no footage of the shooting scene. You can view the AP cameraman’s footage and the Reuter’s cameraman’s footage, along with all the other relevant material available — just not the rest of Talal’s rushes — at the Second Draft, The Raw Footage.
This footage raises important questions: if, as Talal reported, the al Durahs took refuge behind the barrel and were pinned by a hail of bullets for 40 minutes, then:
1) why do camera crewmen continue to come behind them, unprotected by the barrel and manage to leave but not take the father and son with them?
2) why do the cameramen, like the Reuter’s cameraman, leave the area (segments 10-12) rather than stay and film? As Talal says, “why I send throwing stones when I have shooting?”
3) why, with all the cameramen there, once the father and son had been shot, an ambulance driver also shot, and the bodies and badly wounded father finally loaded onto an ambulance, did none of them come by to get some footage — very valuable footage! — and none call ahead to Shiffa hospital in Gaza City (20 minutes away) and warn photographers there are the scoop of the century coming their way?
I would be enormously grateful if you could fill this gap in my knowledge, as I have failed to find any mention of a second witness to the event in other writings.
Hope this has helped.
Many thanks, and please continue your invauable work – Augean Stables is among the most fascinating and thought-provoking writing on a situation that often generates more heat then light – or should that be \’more hate than light?\’.
I got yelled at when I put the site up for not being more of an advocate. I believe that people a) have common sense, and b) need to make up their own mind. I don’t hide what I think, but I don’t think people should be pushed into positions they’re not convinced by.