Jamal al-Dura, the father of 12-year-old Gazan Muhammad al-Dura who became a symbol of the second intifada, is willing to exhume his son's body to prove that Muhammad was killed, and that he was killed from bullets fired by IDF soldiers.
Muhammad al-Dura was allegedly killed 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.
Jamal al-Dura spoke to the Israeli press on Monday morning following the publications on Sunday of findings of an Israeli committee
that determined IDF fire did not kill or injure Muhammad al-Dura.
But Dura said he is not willing to accept the Israeli committee's findings, and called for an impartial investigation.
"Are they willing to do an international investigation? Is Israel willing? I'm not saying the people of Israel, I mean the government, and IDF soldiers," Jamal told Army Radio.
Dura claimed he had contacted Israel asking for such an investigation, but he has yet to receive an answer, leading him to accuse Israel of being afraid of such an inquiry.
"Israel now has a black stain on it in the eyes of the world," Dura said, claiming the Israeli government is now lying in order to clear itself of all blame.
"The Palestinian Authority has Israeli bullets [from the incident]. I'm asking you why Israel did bulldoze all of the walls there, at [Nezarim] junction. They're trying to erase everything," he accused.
When asked by Army Radio when did Muhammad die, Jamal insisted his son died on the spot. "In my opinion, he died on the spot. Yes, yes, he died next to me. If Muhammad didn't die, who injured me?" he asked.
When presented with the findings of an Israeli doctor that operated on him and determined his scars predated the incident, Jamal dismissed it as lies. When pressed further, he avoided answering the question. "You can ask my lawyer in France. He'll tell you. Me, I'm not allowed to talk about this. At court, he will talk about it," he said.
Dura further said he never received compensation - not from Israel nor from the Palestinian Authority - for the death of his son, that he claims is buried in al-Bureiz refugee camp.
Despite the lack of official recognition, Dura says his son is viewed as a martyr in Gaza. "Muhammad is not just my son, he's the son of the entire Palestinian nation."Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.
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