A 13-second clip from Gaza is viral on social media where a seemingly injured man with a bandaged head and blood-soaked clothes can be seen sitting up and speaking to a woman while another man takes off the bandage from his head. Social media users are sharing this video with the claim that this man is pretending to be injured and when he saw his mother, he dropped the act.
An X user dudi dolev (@dudi_dolev) shared the viral video on November 12 and in the caption they quoted the injured man in the video. The caption said: “Mom everything is fine it’s just for the camera”. (Archive)
“אמא הכל בסדר זה רק למצלמה” pic.twitter.com/6GNMr6FrjY
— dudi dolev (@dudi_dolev) November 12, 2023
Mohammad Tawhidi or Imam of Peace, a self-proclaimed Australian Muslim scholar, shared the video on X (formerly Twitter) on November 13 with the following caption: “This is gold. A Palestinian mother sees images online showing her son injured. She races to the hospital only to find it all fake. He is fine, it’s just an act mommy. It’s called Pallywood.” His tweet has received over 30 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 19,000 retweets. (Archive)
This is gold. A Palestinian mother sees images online showing her son injured. She races to the hospital only to find it all fake. He is fine, it’s just an act mommy. It’s called Pallywood. pic.twitter.com/8YIbLL5aVJ
— Imam of Peace (@Imamofpeace) November 12, 2023
British journalist and X Blue user Amjad Taha أمجد طه (@amjadt25) also shared the same video and mentioned in the caption that the man in the video is giving an “Oscar-worthy performance for the cameras” and that “Hamas is splurging actors to play dead or injured and blame it on Israel”. The tweet has received over 10.6 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 9,200 times. (Archive)
Media outlet Free Press Journal published a report on its YouTube channel claiming that the man told his mother that he had been faking an injury to blame Israel.
Several other pro-Israel users such as @RadioGenoa, @DrEliDavid, @katjanouch, @OliLondonTV, @YosephHaddad, @simon_ekpa, @LezLuthor, @MeghUpdates, @AzzatAlsaalem, @WallStreetSilv, @DanishKaneria61 shared the viral video with the ‘Pallywood’ claim on X and Facebook.
We broke down the video into several keyframes and ran reverse image searches on some of them. This led us to tweets by Quds News Network and Wafa News Agency, Palestinian news outlets on the ground. Both the outlets covered the incident and both mentioned that the man in the viral video had been injured, but when he saw his mother, he got up from the bed to reassure her.
Claim 1: Does the Man Say, “It is Just for Cameras?”
We noticed several users had commented under the viral tweets that the claims were wrong and that the man was only reassuring his mother that he was fine.
We reached out to journalist @BelalNezar to verify what the man was saying in the video. He said that the conversation in the video was following in Arabic: “لا يوجد شىء ، نام يا حبيبي نام
Translation: “There is nothing, Do not be afraid (to the mother); Habibi sleep…(to the patient)”.
We also came across a tweet by an X user Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) who also translated the conversation that can be heard in the viral video.
HE DID NOT SAY THAT.
— Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) November 13, 2023
Claim 2: Is This a Staged Video?
On close inspection, we noticed that the skin on the left forearm of the man in the viral video is peeling off and appears to be burnt. Additionally, his blood-soaked clothes are torn in several areas and have dust all over them. The man’s face can also be seen covered in dust and blood.
We found that journalist Mohmmed Awad had shared the same video on his Instagram story. The story preceding the viral video showed the same man being transferred to a stretcher and carried to the hospital from the ambulance. In that video, the woman who is believed to be the injured man’s mother, can be seen standing near the ambulance and crying while a man, who can also be seen in the viral video, consoles her.
As the man is being transferred to a stretcher from the ambulance, it can be clearly seen that his clothes are torn as in the viral video and his left arm is injured.
We reached out to journalist Mohmmed Awad for further clarification regarding the video. He said: “This happened when a house was targeted. I was standing in front of Al Nasser Hospital and I heard a woman shouting. It turned out that her son had a head injury and was in the ICU. She thought he wouldn’t make it. So to reassure his mom, he sat up and removed the bandage around his head. He was really injured and is still in the hospital, but I can’t reach him.”
We also geolocated the location of the video which confirmed that the man was being taken inside the Nasser Hospital in Gaza as mentioned by Mohmmed Awad.
Hence, the claim that the man in the viral video is pretending to be injured and stops the act when his mother shows up is false. The man does not say that all of it is for the camera. Eye-witness accounts, social media posts and geolocation suggest that the man was indeed injured and was in a hospital.
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