French court convicts Israeli of slandering al-Durra

Dr. Yehuda David convicted for refuting claims that a former patient of his was injured by IDF gunfire in iconic second Intifada incident.

311_gavel (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A French court on Friday convicted Israeli Dr. Yehuda David of slandering the father of Muhammad al-Durra, Jamal.
Then-twelve-year-old Muhammad al-Durra became a symbol of the second Intifada when he was shot to death in September 2000. Television station FRANCE 2 showed footage of al-Durra and his father seeking cover while caught in a crossfire between IDF soldiers and Palestinians in Gaza. The FRANCE 2 report controversially reported that the two had been targeted by the IDF. Muhammad al-Durra was hailed as a martyr throughout the Arab world. The accuracy of the FRANCE 2 report was widely debated in the following years.
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Dr. Yehuda David said in an interview to a French Jewish publication that Jamal al-Durra, who he had operated on at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer in 1994, had sustained a hand injury in 1992 that he claimed came as the result of IDF fire in the September 2000 episode. Al-Durra then filed a lawsuit against David claiming he broke the laws of doctor-patient confidentiality and slandered him in the interview.
On Friday, David was ordered by the court to pay al-Durra NIS 30,000 reparations.
According to Israeli media reports, David planned to appeal the French court's verdict.
Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon and Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein notified Yehuda that Israel would fund his defense going forward.