Viral photo of injured 'three-legged' Gazan man is edited

By: Soham Shah
April 16 2024

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Viral photo of injured 'three-legged' Gazan man is edited

Post claiming a photo shows a man with three legs in Gaza. (Source: Instagram/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

The image has been altered to add an extra limb to the injured man. It was not generated using AI and is part of the Pallywood narrative.

Claim ID 118804c6

What is the claim?

Multiple posts on social media platforms X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram have been sharing a photo of two wheelchaired-bound people, one of whom appears to have three legs. One such post was shared with the caption, "A Palinazi miracle… three legs…". 

Another iteration of the claim captioned the photo "Pallywood Pictures presents," suggesting that the individual had three legs because "Hamas and its propagandists" had generated this and other such images of wounded Gazans using artificial intelligence (AI) to "elicit angry emotions against Israel." AI-generated photos often have inconsistencies, such as humans possessing extra or fewer limbs, deformed fingers, and other unusual bodily features.

Archived versions of such posts can be accessed here, here, and here.

Viral posts showiung a three-legged Gazan man furthering the dehumanizing 'Pallywood' narrative. (Source:X, Instagram/Modified by Logically Facts)

The post was shared as part of the 'Pallywood' narrative, a dehumanizing trope used against Palestinians to deny the evidence of civilian harm in Gaza and the West Bank amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. 

However, the viral photo has been digitally manipulated to imply that war-torn Gazans fake injuries and deformities. The original visual showed the same individual without the extra limb. The picture has not been generated using AI to fake the plight of Palestinians as Israel attacks Gaza.

 What is the truth?

A Google search with relevant keywords in Arabic took us to a report by Al Jazeera Arabic. The report title, when translated from Arabic, read: "Gaza government: Israel killed hundreds of civilians and hid them on the floor of the Shifa complex."

Around the 3:16 timestamp of the second video shared in this report, the same two people from the viral photo could be spotted. However, here, the man on the left has only two legs, not three. The Arabic text on the screen, translated using Google Translate, read, "Al Jazeera monitors the testimonies of patients inside the Shifa Medical Complex after a siege that lasted about two weeks."  

Comparison of the viral image and visuals from the Al Jazeera report. (Source:X, Al Jazeera/Modified by Logically Facts)

This indicates that the viral image has been altered, using digital editing tools to add an extra limb to the man in the image. 

We have reached out to Al Jazeera for more details about the wounded persons captured in their reports and will update this story if and when we get a response.

The Israeli army sieged the Al-Shifa hospital for two weeks in March, which the World Health Organization said "ripped the heart out of healthcare" in Gaza. This came during a time when injury and malnutrition were at a very high level due to the months-long Israeli attack. 

The 'Pallywood' narrative has been employed multiple times to claim that visuals of dead and injured Gazans are fake and that dolls are presented as bodies. Logically Facts has previously debunked such false claims besides writing about the proliferation of civilian harm denial in Gaza with the 'Pallywood' narrative. 

The verdict

We have marked the photo as fake as the viral photo has been edited to show that an injured Gazan has three legs.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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