Notes by Richard Landes after three viewings
The main material from the France2 tapes has already been discussed at length in terms of its insights into Pallywood and al Durah . In this essay, I will address what the tapes tell us further about the al Durah affair aside from the direct evidence.
The final scene on Talal’s tapes from September 30, just after the al-Durah sequence, shows a man being loaded in an ambulance at the intersection. This footage, which looks like much of the Pallywood footage from earlier in the day (no stretcher, no signs of blood, clumsy evacuation), is clearly neither the boy nor the father (since they would have been very bloody and evacuated from the barrel). If Talal still had enough battery power to take this shot after the al Durah scene, why did he not take more pictures of the allegedly far more lurid al Durah scene – the boy “bleeding for twenty minutes,” the hail of gunfire, their evacuation?
Perhaps the most important information about al Durah on the France2 tapes comes from the day after. This day-after footage has a terrible photo from the previous day of the boy in the hospital (not necessarily Muhamed al Durah) with his stomach torn (or cut) open and his guts spilling out. (I have not been able to get a copy of this photo and would welcome a copy from anyone who has it.) It is difficult to imagine this gaping hole as an entry wound, suggesting that he was either shot from behind or further opened up by doctors in the hospital. In any case, such a wound certainly would have left massive quantities of blood on the ground behind the barrel.
The footage taken apparently early in the morning by Talal (it may be later), however, shows several scenes of the barrel that show no sign of blood where the father and son sat. The ground is slightly darker behind the barrel, which prompted Enderlin to remark to me that perhaps they had either cleaned up the pool of blood, or poured sand over it. Given that the wall should have been splattered with blood, and that the bleeding would have covered far more than the area that is slightly darker, including the wall, this seems like an unlikely explanation.
In any case, the Palestinians involved clearly understood that the lack of blood posed serious problems for their “narrative,” supplied fresh blood for the visit of the journalists who arrived later in the day. The picture below shows the scene around noon (to judge from the lack of shadows).
Note the bright red color of the blood, something that no journalist remarked in their reports. (Goldenberg actually refers to the “darkening blood…” — a day later?) Additionally there is no blood on the wall where presumably a total of nine wounds from high-speed bullets would have left quite a display. Finally, all the blood is where Jamal, the father, sat, and none where Muhammad allegedly bled to death for over 20 minutes.