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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Israel's court defeats film ban
Israeli tanks in Jenin, April 2002
The military raid on Jenin followed a suicide bomb attack on Netanya
A fresh attempt to ban a documentary film about the Israeli army's invasion of a West Bank refugee camp has failed.

Israel's film board banned Jenin, Jenin from being shown in the Jewish state last year, saying it presented a distorted version of events in Jenin.

But on Monday Israel's High Court reinstated a ruling which overturned the ban, saying the film board did not have "a monopoly over truth".

Fighting in the camp in April 2002 left 52 Palestinians and 23 Israelis dead.

The eight-day military operation in Jenin followed a suicide bomb attack on the Israeli town of Netanya which killed 28 Israelis celebrating Passover.

'Propagandistic lie'

Directed by Israeli Arab film-maker Mohammad Bakri, Jenin, Jenin was shown three times in Israel before it was banned last year.

The High Court ruled that the film board had overstepped its mandate by imposing the ban. An order staying last year's ruling was lifted.

Director Bakri insisted that he had a right to present a Palestinian point of view and rejected an earlier proposal by the court to cut several scenes.

Despite rejecting the ban, the court described Jenin, Jenin as a "propagandistic lie" which falsely accused Israeli soldiers of intentionally killing children, women, the disabled and the mentally ill.

Delivering the original Supreme Court ruling last November, Justice Dalia Dorner said: "The fact that the film includes lies is not enough to justify a ban."

It marked the first time in 15 years that Israel had banned a movie. In 1987, it prevented Japanese film Empire of the Senses from being screened due to its pornographic content.

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