An image of a person sitting with a white sheet wrapped around their body and a phone in their hand is viral on social media. Pro-Israel social media users are sharing this image in the context of the ongoing war claiming that the image is of a seemingly injured child from Gaza and it shows how the Palestinians are creating a fake narrative of death and destruction on social media.
X (formerly Twitter) Blue user and Israeli journalist Eddie Cohen shared the above-mentioned image on October 26 with a caption in Arabic that can be translated as: “A corpse in Gaza sends a message from the phone.
Hamas’s lies and exaggeration raised the dead.” His tweet has received over 8 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 200 times. (Archive)
Previously, Cohen had shared a 2022 video falsely calling it proof of a failed Hamas rocket hitting the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza.
جثة في غزة ترسل رسالة من التلفون
اكاذيب حماس وتضخيم أقام القتلى. pic.twitter.com/u7cVcrYUYT
— إيدي كوهين אדי כהן 🇮🇱 (@EdyCohen) October 26, 2023
@TheMossadIL, a parody handle of Israel’s intelligence agency also shared the same image the same day with the following caption: “When the “Gaza Ministry of Health” tells you how many casualties there are…” The tweet has received over 5 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 3,800 times. (Archive)
When the “Gaza Ministry of Health” tells you how many casualties there are… pic.twitter.com/8o2WCQptM1
— The Mossad: Satirical, Yet Awesome (@TheMossadIL) October 26, 2023
An X user @Tanha_6655 shared the above-mentioned image on October 25 with a caption in Arabic that can be translated as: “One of the martyrs of #Gaza”. At present, the platform shows that it has limited the tweet’s visibility as it may violate the platform’s policies against Abuse, yet the tweet is still live. It has received over 2.3 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 500 times. (Archive)
On running a reverse image search on the image we found the viral image in several tweets and posts on Facebook and other social media platforms. All the posts were made prior to the current escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict — we found posts from May, June 2023, December and November 2022 containing the image. And in almost all the posts the image has been used as a ‘meme’ with texts like “When you died but forgot to delete mobile history”.
We traced the the image back to its source on Facebook. It was shared by user Surattana Sawadkit in October 2022. In a Facebook post, she shared four images of her kids in Halloween costumes, one of the pictures from the post is the now-viral image. The post carried hashtags such as Halloween and Central Korat written in Thai. Central Korat is a mall in Thailand.
งานเล็กๆ แต่งตัวง่ายๆสบายๆเนี่ยแหละค่ะ ไม่ต้องอะไรมากเลยค่ะ มีแต่คนกันเองทั้งนั้น 👻
#เซนทรัลโคราช #ไม่งงจะมงมาก #ลูกคุณสิงหา #ตัวตึงโคราช #Halloween
Another Instagram page @up2youha also shared these images and credited Surattana Sawadkit for the photos. The caption in Thai can be translated as: “The event is not big. It’s a little contest. Halloweenkidsfancy
📸 : Surattana Sawadkit”.
Therefore, the claim that this image shows a fake war victim from Gaza pretending to be dead is false. The image is from October 2022 and from Thailand where the child in the image had dressed up for Halloween.
The readers should note that the amplification of such images can be seen as part of a larger effort by pro-Israel influencers and social media users to call into question Palestine’s claims of the human cost of the war on their side. The official X handles of the state of Israel and its associated offices were previously found trying to pass off footage of a dead 4-year-old child from Gaza as a ‘doll’. More recently, Israel mocked a survivor of a July invasion by its forces of a refugee camp in West Bank by calling him an ‘actor’.
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