After State Panel's Mohammed al-Dura Report, France 2 Hits Back at Israeli Government

France 2 TV and its correspondent Charles Enderlin are threatening to take legal action if Israel does not hand over all information collected by government panel on Palestinian boy killed in intifada.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

France 2 TV and its correspondent Charles Enderlin are demanding that Israel hand over all the information collected by government panel that investigated the Mohammed al-Dura affair, which published its findings last week.

The French station is threatening to take legal action against Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz – who oversaw the panel's investigation – if they don't receive the information.

France 2 and Charles Enderlin submitted a letter to ministers Ya'alon and Steinitz on Tuesday through the Gilead Sher and Co. lawfirm, demanding to receive the panel's letter of appointment, the names of the panel members and the documents at their disposal – including photographs, the names of those who testified and protocols from the discussions.

"Our clients, as the injured party in the report who were not given the right to make their case, and after the panel disregarded all basic rules of justice in this matter, insist on their right to receive all the aforesaid information immediately" Attorney Louise Sportas wrote, as legal representative of Enderlin and France 2. "Alternatively, should these details, whose submission are required in accordance with the freedom of speech law - are not transferred, our clients are considering appealing the matter to the relevant courts."

The letter to Ya'alon and Steinitz stressed that not a single panel member contacted the French station or Enderlin to get their take on the matter before publishing the report. "This makes one seriously wonder what the goal of the report is and the objective of its publication date – 13 years after the said incident," the letter specified.

"Following publication of the report, the panel members told the press that our clients did not respond to their queries – however no such query was ever made. This is indicative of the panel's general conduct and its goals."

The letter claimed that the investigative panel's report presented a "one-sided and warped picture" that failed to take into account the position of the injured party prior to publication of the report against it. It also emphasized that "reading the report raises the suspicion that its writers sought to deride our clients, and its publication date was not coincidental (concurrent with the ruling in France regarding the libel suit filed by the station), and through voicing harsher claims – under the guise of a serious report."

Yuval Steinitz submitting the report on the al-Dura case to Prime Minister Netanyahu.Credit: Moshe Milner/GPO

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