Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Israeli reporter insists IDF officer ‘confirmed kill’ of Gaza girl

15 February 2010

By Tomer Zarchin, Haaretz – 15 Feb 2010

Israeli television reporter Ilana Dayan appealed to the Jerusalem District Court to overturn its ruling favor of an Israel Defense Forces officer who sued her and Channel 2 for defamation.

“If the court ruling is implemented, investigative journalism and controversial journalism – which raises public debate and dares to bring to light worthy stories – will both suffer a fatal blow,” Dayan’s lawyers wrote in her appeal.

Dayan’s television program “Fact” in 2006 accused Captain R. of “confirming the kill” of a teenage girl in Gaza, but the officer was later acquitted in court after two key witnesses against him admitted to having lied.

R.’s suit against Dayan claimed that parts of her publication were fabricated, but Dayan and Channel 2 production house Telad, insisted that the report was fair and balanced.

As evidence of this, the defense brief asserted that Dayan had refrained from publishing additional information that would have been damaging to R.

In late 2009, Judge Noam Solberg ruled that the show and Dayan were indeed liable of slander against Captain R.. The court instructed them to pay him NIS 300,000 in damages and to publish a televised retraction which would include facts from the trial which vindicated him.

They were also instructed to pay for his trial costs, which amounted to NIS 80,000.

In her appeal Dayan stated that the program aired a live recording of Captain R. reporting back to his commander during the incident saying that he had “confirmed the kill,” by firing two bullets at her at close range.

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