Tuesday, May 28, 2013

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today, a correspondent sent me a screenshot from a 2008 Israeli Channel 2 report on the Al Durah case. I had never seen it before.

It shows a photo of Mohammed Al Dura from a family photo, and a photo of the dead child in the hospital identified as Al Durah.

I am not the best at face recognition, but it is not clear to me that these are the same person. On the other hand, I am not 100% convinced that they are not.

I played a little with rotating the faces and sizing them to make them as identical as I could:

Splitting the face to match up the eye and lip level:

(Not perfect, of course, because the corpse is leaning downwards.)

To my eye, they have only a slight resemblance to each other.

Another data point, the photo of the child on the stretcher:

I'm sure there exists software that could give a percentage match on the faces, so this part of the controversy could be ended.

I am certain that the IDF didn't kill Al Durah, based on the angles of the IDF position. I am  not as certain that Al Durah wasn't killed altogether, and I am afraid that spending so much time on that argument takes away from what we can say definitively. But if an algorithm could say that these two faces are, or aren't, the same person, we can hopefully put that part of the issue to rest.

(h/t Josh K)

UPDATE: Concerning a film Esther Schapira made on the case:
Schapira procured images from Mohammed al-Dura’s Gazan autopsy and hired German biometric facial imaging expert Kurt Kindermann to compare the autopsy, the funeral, and the France 2 images. Kindermann concluded that the boy at the funeral and in the morgue were most likely one and the same. They were not, however, the same boy seen crouching beside his father in the famous video sequence. “We tried to investigate if he died shortly after (the shooting), but the only proof was always the funeral scene,” Schapira said “It seemed to be clear that a boy was killed, but with this new evidence it is not clear anymore.”

Schapira presents these findings in her latest documentary along with an impossible timeline sequence: Mohammed al-Dura was shot at 2 p.m., but the Gaza morgue says he was brought in at 10 a.m. “I think it’s strong evidence that there is no proof that Mohammed al-Dura is dead,” Schapira concluded. “There’s no proof he’s alive but no proof either that he’s dead.”
(h/t Elihu) I don't know if Kindermann compared the two photos above, though.

UPDATE 2: It looks like the family photo is Al Dura but not the morgue photo http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/medien/2.1756/im-gespraech-esther-schapira-was-geschah-mit-mohammed-al-dura-1922381.html and also this video:

Affaire al Dura : Itw de Kurt Kindermann... by philippekarsenty

(h/t Elder of Lobby)

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