France's high court Tuesday ordered appeals judges to re-examine a long-running dispute over a French television report showing the killing of a Palestinian boy in a exchange of fire between Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters in Gaza that was accused of being staged.
Philippe Karsenty, director of Media Ratings -- a media watchdog group -- claimed a report by France 2 reporter Charles Enderlin on the death of Mohammed al-Dura more than 11 years ago was doctored.
Karsenty was first convicted of defamation in 2006 for accusing France 2, the channel whose iconic images of the killing were beamed around the world, of broadcasting "false reporting, pure fiction". It was overturned on appeal in 2008.
That appeal was then challenged by France 2 and Enderlin before France's highest court which overruled the appeals court's decision and sent back the case.
The high court said the appeals court had overstepped its bounds in ordering France 2 to send them the rushes of the report, according to the text of the decision seen by AFP.
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It said that the appeals court in Paris should judge the Karsenty case anew.
The death of 12-year-old Dura, who died in the arms of his father, on September 30, 2000, remains a searing image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In the Arab world, Dura quickly became a symbol with which to condemn the Israeli occupation. The image of the child keeled over was reproduced on posters, stamps and T-shirts. Streets were named in his memory.
On the other side, defenders of Israel contested Enderlin's reporting, whose voice-over of the images in the report said Israeli bullets had killed the boy.
Some cast doubt of the provenance of those bullets, saying they were in fact Palestinian. But others claim the entire event was staged, that Dura did not in fact die in his father's arms.