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Israeli Court Bans Screening of ‘Jenin, Jenin’ Documentary

An Israeli court has banned the screening and distribution of the documentary film “Jenin, Jenin,” which looks at the 2002 Battle of Jenin in the refugee camp during the Second Intifada.

The Lod District Court also ordered Arab-Israeli director Mohammad Bakri to pay nearly $56,000 in compensation for defamation to Israeli Lt.-Col. Nissim Meganji, who brought the lawsuit, as well as court costs. Copies of the film that exist in Israel were ordered confiscates, as well. Bakri said he would appeal the verdict.

Bakri “consciously chose not to conduct an examination, even minimal, even preliminary, of the allegations and facts expressed in the same interviews,” Judge Halit Silash said in her ruling.

The nearly one-hour film, which tells the story of the incident through the words of survivors, was banned in Israel after its release later in 2002, but Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the order. At least 52 residents of the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin were killed during the operation.

The film can still be seen on YouTube.

A 2008 defamation lawsuit filed by five Israeli soldiers who participated in the operation was rejected by an Israeli court.