Text of the Israeli Army’s Request to France2 for the Rushes

When the decision came down in the Karsenty trial, one of the more galling lines of reasoning of the judges was to dismiss the arguments of Karsenty because the Israeli army itself had not shown any interest in the affair.

    The proposed theory derives from only one source – an Israeli press agency – that first raised this accusation belatedly, (almost two years after the report’s broadcast); it is based largely on extrapolations and confusion and nourished by peremptory affirmations to which no official Israeli authority – neither the army (who, after all was the most interested party in the case), nor the courts – have ever granted the slightest credit.

In response to Karsenty’s request that they weigh in on this matter, the Israeli army has now officially requested the Rushes from France2. Here is the letter, first in French (English translation below):

Charles Enderlin, France 2 10 septembre 2007
Ulpanei Habira
Rue Jaffa 204, Jérusalem

Objet: Communication de prises de vues du 30 septembre et du 1er octobre 2000

Monsieur Enderlin,

1. Suite à la demande de mon prédécesseur le lieutenant colonel Yarden Vatikai, je m’adresse à vous pour vous demander à nouveau communication des 27 minutes de prises de vue de Talal Abou Rahma du 30 septembre 2000 (selon le témoignage des trois journalistes Jeambar, Leconte et Rosenzweig qui les ont visionnéea en octobre 2004 après avoir été autorisés à le faire par vos services), ainsi que les images tournées par le même caméraman le 1er octobre 2000.

2. Mon service ayant été appelé à présenter ses observations sur le jugement prononcé à ce sujet le 19 octobre 2006, et porté en appel devant un tribunal français le 19 septembre 2007, j’ai besoin sans tarder de ce matériel.

3. Le samedi 30 septembre 2000, un reportage de France 2 diffusé dans le monde entier rendait compte de la prétendue mort de l’enfant Mohamed Al Doura au carrefour de Netsarim dans la Bande de Gaza, filmé par un cameraman local employé par France 2, Talal Abou Rahma. Le reportage de France 2 attribuait la mort de Mohamed Al Doura aux soldats israéliens postés au carrefour de Netsarim et laissait entendre qu’ils avaient pris le père et le fils comme « cibles. »

4. Une enquête diligentée peu après par le chef du commandement sud, le général Yom-Tov Samia a établi qu’un certain nombre de faits ne cadraient pas avec ce qui avait été décrit dans le reportage de France 2. Dans la conversation que j’ai eu cette semaine avec le général Samia, ce dernier a à nouveau précisé qu’à partir de l’analyse de toutes les données sur le terrain, y compris l’emplacement de la position de Tsahal, les angles de tir et le timing de l’évènement, rendait hautement improbable que les tirs auant soi-disant atteint le père et le fils aient pu être tirés par les soldats de Tsahal se trouvant dans cette position.

5. Je sais que des points de vue divergents ont été présentées devant le tribunal français ayant jugé l’affaire Enderlin, France 2 contre Karsenty (dossier 0433823049). Dans son verdict, le juge Joël Boyer a laissé entendre à plusieurs reprises que l’Etat d’Israël n’avait jamais repris à son compte les allégations de mise en scène, n’avait jamais nié que Mohamed Al Doura ait été tué par des soldats de Tsahal et ne s’était jamais employé à réfuter les allégations du reportage de France 2 à ce sujet. On pouvait également comprendre de ce verdict que l’Etat d’Israël n’avait jamais cherché à obtenir les prises de vue ayant servi à la réalisation du dit reportage.

6. Je tiens à souligner que ces allégations ne cadrent nullement avec les tentatives réitérées de Tsahal d’obtenir ces prises de vue ni d’ailleurs avec les conclusions de la commission d’enquête de Tsahal pourtant largement citées dans la presse française. Le général Samia m’a également précisé que toutes ses tentatives d’obtenir les prises de vue pour compléter l’enquête ont été vouées à l’échec. Au surplus, le général de réserve Samia, a demandé à ses collègues palestiniens (principalement le général Majdaye, commandant de la police palestinienne et le brigadier général Omar Ashour, chef de l’unité de liaison avec Israël, de joindre des représentants palestiniens à la commission d’enquête. Ces demandes, ainsi que celles concernant la communication de photographies du corps de l’enfant et son analyse médico-légale, ont été rejetées par les chefs de la police palestinienne.

7. Etant donné que nous sommes bien conscients de tentatives de mises en scène médiatisées et comme un doute s’est insinué à cet égard envers le dit reportage nous demandons les prises de vue en question afin de découvrir la vérité et de mettre un terme à cette affaire.

8. Afin de clore cette affaire je vous prie de bien vouloir me communiquer avant le 15 septembre 2007 une copie complète non montée et d’une qualité de diffusion des 27 minutes de rushes du 30 septembre 2000 ainsi que les rushes du 1er octobre 2000, filmé par Talal Abou Rahma.

9. Merci d’avoir l’obligeance de nous confirmer la réception de cette lettre en vue de coordonner avec vous aussi rapidement que possible le transfert d’une copie de tous ces rushes afin que nous puissions répondre aux questions évoquées par le jugement avant l’audience du 19 septembre 2007.

Je vous prie d’agréer l’expression de mes salutations distinguées,

Col. Shlomi Am-Shalom
Adjoint du Porte Parole de Tsahal
Israel Defense Forces

Copies:

Général de réserve Yom-Tov Samia
Général Dan Harel, Adjoint au Chef d’Etat-Major de Tsahal
Patrick de Carolis, Président de France Télévisions
Philippe Karsenty, Media Ratings

English Translation (by RL)

In the matter of: Provision of the Raw Footage from the 30 September of 1 October 2000

1) Following up a request from my predecessor, Lieutenant Colonel Yarden Vatikai, I contact you to ask again for the provision of the raw footage of Talal abu Rahmah of the 30th of September 2000 of approximately 27 minutes (according to the testimony of the three journalists Jeambar, Leconte, and Rosenzweig who viewed them in October of 2004 after receiving permission from your organization), as well as the footage taken by the same cameraman the following day, the 1st of October, 2000.

2) My organization, having been requested to present its observations on the judgment pronounced on this subject on the 19th of October 2006 and appealed before a French tribunal on the 19th of September 2007, I need to see this material without delay.

3) On Saturday, September 30, 2000, a news report of France2 broadcast the world over gave an account of the alleged death of the child Muhammad al Durah at Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip, filmed by a local cameraman employed by France2, Talal abu Rahmah. The news report of France2 attributed the death of Muhammad al Durah to Israeli soldiers posted at Netzarim Junction and claimed that they had taken the father and son as “targets.”

4) An inquiry pursued shortly thereafter by the Chief of the Southern Command, General Yom-Tov Samia established that a certain number of facts did not accord with with what the France2 report presented. In a conversation with General (res.) Samia, he again made explicit that the analysis of all the data about the terrain, the placement of the IDF position, the angles of fire, the position of the father and son behind a barrel that served as shelter, the frequency of the fire, the angles of penetration of the bullets in the wall behind them, as well as the timing of the event, made it highly improbable that the fire which allegedly struck the father and son could have been shot by IDF soldiers from their position.

5) I know that varying opinions have been presented to the French tribunal judging the case of Enderlin, France2 vs. Karsenty (Dossier 0433823049). In his verdict, Judge Joël Boyer implied on several occasions that the state of Israel had never taken up the matter of the allegation of “staging”, never denied that Muhammad al Durah was killed by Israeli soldiers and that they never tried to refute the allegations of the France2 report on this matter. One could also infer from this verdict that the State of Israel had never tried to get the rushes used to make this report.

6) I want to underline that these allegations do not correspond in any way with the repeated attempts of the IDF to obtain these rushes, nor, for that matter, with the conclusions of the IDF’s commission of inquiry, despite their being widely cited in the international and French press. General Samia also noted that all efforts to obtain the rushes to complete the inquiry were in vain. Moreover, General Samia asked his Palestinian colleagues (above all, General Majdaye, commander of the Palestinian police and the brigadier General Omar Ashour, chief of Liaison with Israel), to join Palestinian representatives to the committee of inquiry. These requests, as well as those concerning the provision of photographs of the body of the child and the medico-legal analysis, were rejected by the heads of Palestinian police.

7) Given that we are aware of the tendency of staging news and that un doubt has appeared in this regard in the matter of the above-mentioned report, we ask for the rushes in question so that we can discover the truth and put an end to this affair.

8) In order to reach closure in this matter I ask you to please provide, before the 15 of September 2007, a complete copy of high quality definition, of the 27 minutes of rushes of the 30th of September 2000 as well as the rushes of the 1st of October 2000, filmed by Talal abu Rahmah.

9) Thank you for confirming the reception of this letter so that we may coordinate with you as quickly as possible the transfer of a copie of all these rushes in order that we may respond to the questions raised by the Judgment before the hearing of 19th of September 2007.
Please accept the expression of my distinguished greetings,
Colonel Shlomi Am-Shalom
Adjunct of the IDF Spokesman

For those of us who have been trying hard for years to get the Israelis to take a public stand on this, and know how powerful the resistance, this letter represents a major step.

Do not count on the civility of France2 to bring them to the point where they reveal the rushes. Despite Enderlin’s assurances to one and all (and me repeatedly), that he would release the rushes as soon as he gets an official request, expect long delays.

And in the meantime, sign the petition, so that both the judges and France2 know that “the whole world is watching.”

4 Responses to Text of the Israeli Army’s Request to France2 for the Rushes

  1. Lynne T says:

    According to Caroline Glick, the IDF did make several attempts to secure the tapes, although the reference doesn’t give a precise date as to when, but presumably at the time the IDF made the inquiry that found that it was physically impossible, given the location of the al-Durahs relative to the IDF’s position, for the IDF to have fired anywhere near the al-Durahs:

    “In his letter to Enderlin, Am-Shalom disputes the judges’ assertion. “It is my duty to note,” he wrote, “[that their claim] does not correspond to repeated attempts made by the IDF to receive the filmed materials, and with the conclusions of the IDF’s committee of inquiry [into the purported shooting] that were widely publicized in the international and French media.”

    “Am-Shalom discussed at length the findings of the IDF’s probe into the incident. That inquiry was ordered by then-OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yom Tov Samia.

    “Citing Samia, Am-Shalom wrote, “The general has made clear that from an analysis of all the data from the scene, including the location of the IDF position, the trajectory of the bullets, the location of the father [Jamal al-Dura] and the son behind an obstacle, the cadence of the bullet fire, the angle at which the bullets penetrated the wall behind the father and his son, and the hours of the events, we can rule out with the greatest certainty the possibility that the gunfire that apparently harmed the boy and his father was fired by IDF soldiers, who were at the time located only inside their fixed position [at the junction].”

    “Am-Shalom further notes that “Gen. Samia emphasized to me that all his attempts to receive the filmed material for the purpose of his inquiry were rejected.”

    Read it all.

  2. [...] a> Translation of the radio interview with Jeambar and Leconte after they saw the rushes. Text of the Israeli Army’s Request [...]

  3. Solomonia says:

    French Court Orders Release of Hidden Al Dura Footage

    Big news! A French judge ordered the release of video footage that could reopen the controversy surrounding the 2000 shooting of Mohammed al-Dura. The appeals court judge in Paris ordered France 2 TV to show the court about 25 minutes…

  4. [...] esiding (female) judge — are clearly different, and I have to wonder how much a) the letter from the IDF requesting the [...]

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