A colleague of the French Photographer wounded yesterday (13 March 2002) in Ramallah, who was next to him when he was wounded, testified on camera that his comrade was wounded as a result of an explosive device, and not by IDF fire.
The following is his testimony, as shown in a film released today by the IDF Spokesperson. The Photographer was interviewed in French by Lt. Col. Olivier Rafowicz, Director of the IDF Spokesperson’s Foreign Press Liaison Branch. The following is a translation of the interview:
Photographer: The [Manara] Square is here. I’ll make a circle like that.
Lt. Col. Rafowicz: Manara?
Photographer: It is Manara. You have a street like that [he draws a street leading to the square]
Rafowicz: Slowly. Label it “Manara”. It’s the main square of Ramallah.
Photographer: The main square. There is a street here. I don’t know what it’s called.
Rafowicz: You were where?
Photographer: And there was a second street, here.
Rafowicz: Where were you?
Photographer: We were here [he marks an X on the parallel street, which he drew emanating from the square] n the street here.
Rafowicz: Three of you?
Photographer: Three people.
Rafowicz: Mark them, one, two, three.
Photographer: One, two, three.
Rafowicz: And who was wounded?
Photographer: The person who was here [he circles the first X that he drew]
Rafowicz: Where are the Palestinians who were shooting in all directions?
Photographer: There were Palestinians here [he draws an X on the other side of the street], here [he draws an X on his side of the street]. Here there was one [he draws an X on the other side of the street, and then draws a perpendicular line, making it into a corner]. There was another one here [he draws an X in the center of the street], and then he ran back. There were [Palestinians] almost everywhere in the street. And there were 10 to 15 here [he points to the intersection of the street with the square].
Rafowicz: In which direction did he shoot?
Photographer: He was shooting [he indicates the X representing the Palestinian shooting from the corner and draws an arrow representing the direction of fire]
These two were firing [he indicates the X’s representing two Palestinians at the corner, and adds the direction of fire to the second Palestinian]. The two were firing like that. The other two [he points to the two X’s indicating Palestinian policemen in the center of the street] continued to run up and back. They did not fire. At this time, we photographed them. We photographed him when he came, when he was here. As for this one [he points to one of the X’s representing the Palestinian policeman in the corner], there were many things around him, like garbage cans or other things on the ground: dirt and mud, I don’t exactly know what. I was taking pictures of him. As soon as I stopped, in two seconds
Rafowicz: Yes? Yes?
Photographer: He went flying in the air.
Rafowicz: So he was wounded?
Photographer: He was dead!
Photographer: If he was not killed, it would have been a miracle.
Rafowicz: From what did he die?
Photographer: He was really
Rafowicz: From what did he die?
Photographer: From the explosion that occurred here. [He draws a circle which is not visible to the camera, but was no doubt intended to indicate the position of the Palestinian gunman who was firing from the corner]. It was probably something that was inside the garbage cans around him.
Rafowicz: Are you sure?
Photographer: Yes! A normal explosion like that of a rocket or something similar, would have pushed everything to this side. And here, it [the blast] entered like this [we see him draw a line]. It exploded like that.
Rafowicz: Were there others who were wounded?
Photographer: There were other Palestinians wounded. There was a man standing in the middle of the street, a civilian
Photographer: That is, he was dressed in civilian clothing. There were other individuals. There was another man who was behind us and he also was wounded. There were soldiers I saw the guy shooting [he gesticulates with his hands imitating a man shooting a rifle], and I saw something explode next to him [he points to the ground], and he flew up in the air. He was blown “sky high” [he uses the English words “sky high”]. All the force of the explosion entered into the street and wounded my friend who was there, and another friend who was there also had his leg cut a bit, but not anything serious. The guy There were plenty of people wounded in the street.
Rafowicz: You think that it was ?
Photographer: I really think that it was a bomb that was on the ground.
Rafowicz: But you’re not sure, not 100%?
Photographer: I’m 99% sure. 99%.