In the wake of attacks on a government report published Sunday that claimed that IDF fire did not kill or injure Muhammad al-Dura in 2000, the report’s main author, Strategic Affairs Ministry director-general Brig.-Gen. (res) Yossi Kuperwaser, defended its findings on Monday.

The 12-year-old al-Dura was allegedly killed, and his father Jamal injured, by IDF fire during the second intifada as he crouched behind his father, crying, according to a report on French television station France 2.

He became one of the most potent symbols of the second intifada for Palestinians, and footage of him cringing in fear and of his alleged death was broadcast repeatedly across the globe.

Charles Enderlin, the journalist who was the source for the original al-Dura report, and others connected to the affair slammed the government and expressed frustration that the investigators never made contact with them.

Hedging on some of the media’s reporting that the document claims al-Dura is still alive, Kuperwaser said that he “doesn’t know if he’s alive, but no one was hurt in the video,” and added that the authors of the report did “not know, did not check and can’t say anything about that,” but that there “was no evidence of his death.”

To support those statements, Kuperwaser recounted the report’s claims that the full video footage of the incident shows al-Dura still alive and moving as well as the lack of blood on the scene, “which there would have to have been for 12 bullets for the father and 4 bullets for the son.”

Pressed as to why some official Israeli spokespeople confirmed that the IDF had shot al-Dura shortly after the incident, he said they had not independently checked the underlying evidence, but had merely assumed that the France 2 video and report were accurate.

Asked why he got involved with the report, Kuperwaser said that the truth needed to come out to stop people such as “the murderer of Toulouse who claimed he was justified” because he said the IDF kills children.

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