Israeli analyst convicted of defamation in death of 12-year old Palestinian
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After nearly a decade in court, a Franco-Israeli media analyst has been convicted of defamation against state TV channel France 2 in what's known as the Al-Dura case. The court rejected his allegation that journalists had orchestrated this footage of a terrified 12-year old Palestinian boy trapped by Israeli gunfire. The analyst even alleged that Mohammed al-Dura did not die in the attack. The shocking murder occurred in the Gaza Strip in September 2000, at the start of Palestinians' Second Infitada, or uprising. It took place as the world was observing an increased wave of anti-Israeli sentiments. Some Israelis say the case shows that the Western media is biased against them. Many others say it proves the difficulty of presenting honest reporting about the war crimes that Palestinians have faced for decades. The convicted Franco-Israeli analyst will be fined €7,000, which correlates almost exactly with the estimated 7,000 Palestinian deaths since 2000. But many feel his media campaign may have succeeded in casting doubt on one of the rare Palestinian deaths actually caught on camera. The exonerated journalists expressed hope that the decision will force Israel to finally permit an independent investigation into the death of Mohammed al-Dura. Such a move appears unlikely: last month Israel issued a new statement on the affair, claiming that the report by France 2 was misleading and part of a smear campaign against Tel Aviv.