The French Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted an Israeli doctor accused of slandering a Palestinian man who claimed he was injured by the IDF during the second intifada.
The Palestinian man, Jamal al-Dura, and his 12-year-old son Muhammad, became the symbol of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, when the two were caught in a fire exchange in the Netzarim Junction. The boy was killed in the incident, triggering a blame game: The Palestinians accused Israel for Muhammad's death, while Israeli officials claimed he was hit by Palestinian fire.
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The father, who survived the ordeal, relayed his version before the media, showing the scars that he incurred in the incident. The claim prompted Dr. Yehuda David of Tel Hashomer Hospital to reveal that the scars were actually a result of a surgery the father had performed years earlier, after al-Dura was attacked by Hamas operatives who suspected him of collaborating with Israel.
Jamal al-Dura and son during incident (Photo: AFP)
Al-Dura decided to sue David, and last year a Paris court ruled against the doctor due to the fact he released information from al-Dura's medical records. He was ordered to compensate al-Dura with €13,000, but decided to appeal the ruling at the French Supreme Court.
"It couldn't have turned out better," David told Ynet after the ruling was overturned. "It means that I spoke the truth, and the father just lied.
"We managed to deconstruct their false statements. All the scientific evidence that we collected for the past 12 years proves that the incident was staged and fake. They made up the father's injury, and the IDF troops never shot the boy."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Dr. David on Wednesday and praised him for his determination. "You are an example for the battle for the State of Israel's truth and to sticking to the righteousness of our people's way," the prime minister told him.
On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs will discuss a bill proposing that the State fund Dr. David's legal expenses. The bill was initiated by Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon, who had served alongside Dr. David in the army.
David has recently begun raising funds to fight what he calls the "Palestinian's false anti-Israel propaganda," and said that Ya'alon has joined the effort.
"I recently opened a Facebook page in order to collect funding for the fight against the Palestinians' mendacious propaganda," David said. "I got a phone call from Ya'alon, and on Sunday he will put a proposal on the justice minister's desk to allocate funds, and then we will take this venture on the road… This will put an end to the lies."
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