Widening the Lens: AP Extended Footage - Gaza Gun Battle

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This extended AP footage ties together the scenes captured in other clips analyzed here. In this footage, we hear what sound like exchanges of fire. Indeed, this AP segment is entitled “Gaza: Gun Battle”. But do we have reason to believe this footage contains newsworthy images of conflict or confirmation that most of the scenes here were staged for the camera?

  • It is quite rare to see someone caught on film at exact the moment they are hit by a bullet. In fact if one is presented with film capturing the very moment someone is shot that is an almost certain indication that the individual was being filmed for some other reason. If you see the same scene of the exact moment a person was shot filmed by a number of cameramen from different camera angles you have reason to wonder whether there is stage direction involved.
  • At second 0:17 this clip captures a dramatic scene at the precise moment that someone is allegedly shot in the leg near a security jeep that has made several passes past the barrel. Notice that the ambulance is being summoned by a fellow in a white shirt on the left-hand side of the screen a split second before before the “wounded” man clutches his leg and falls to the ground. The ambulance actually arrives within seconds – yet another extraordinary “coincidence.”
  • Note the lack of blood and the conspicuous stage direction of the fellow in the blue shirt and orange bandana. From this angle it appears possible that the “wounded” man was hit by a rubber bullet (although that would not necessitate ambulance evacuation) but this, too seems unlikely when we examine the scenario further. See the brief analysis of this same scene as it is captured by different cameramen shooting from different angles in the clip that follows this one.
  • At minute 1:12 We see the Al Durahs behind the barrel by the wall along with others but they do not seem to be under fire from the direction of the Israeli position. The only fire we see is emanating from the Palestinians. In fact, while the firing is proceeding at minute 1:45 we again see Abu Rachma standing erect completely unsheltered with his tripod in the middle of the road in full view of the the Israeli position. This undermines the story of being caught in a rain of bullets that made it impossible to move from their position.
  • The reaction of the crowd at various points indicates that there indeed is live fire but it is difficult to pinpoint its origin. We see a number of uniformed Palestinian policemen discharging weapons and Palestinian gunmen in civilian clothing also firing weapons. At minute 2:05 we see a Palestinian man in a blue shirt near a red truck firing a Kalashnikov rifle at an unidentified target – but not in the direction of the Israeli post. At no point in the video are we shown any fire emanating from the Israeli position, including ten seconds where we hear heavy gunfire while looking at the Israeli position and see no sign of smoke from their fire (2:38-48).
  • At minute 2:15 the camera captures a scene with someone who appears to be genuinely injured but we can not tell by whose fire. We saw this individual before in the earlier clip entitled: What a person suffering from a real leg wound looks like. Meanwhile, the filming of staged scenes continues.
  • This footage places the AP cameraman precisely behind the Al Durahs at the time they were allegedly “pinned down” behind the barrel. Why this cameraman got none of the subsequent footage is inexplicable had events occurred the way Talal abu Rahmah describes them.



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