False: Israeli police officer strangles a Palestinian child to death during U.S. Embassy protest in Jerusalem in January 2023.

By: Rajini KG
January 17 2023

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False: Israeli police officer strangles a Palestinian child to death during U.S. Embassy protest in Jerusalem in January 2023.


The Verdict False

An old video of a Swedish Police officer using excessive force against a child at a railway station was misattributed to protests in Jerusalem.

Claim ID d0112190


Tensions between Israel and Palestine continue to increase, and many videos claiming to be related to the conflict have gone viral on social media. One such video was shared on Facebook on January 8, 2023, with the caption, "An Israeli policeman strangles a Palestinian child to death on Saturday during the U.S. Embassy protest in Jerusalem. The innocent boy even read Kalima e shahadat before he died." The video depicts a police officer holding a boy to the ground, and the boy is heard shouting at the police officer. Another police officer is standing beside them. 

However, this claim is false. The video is from Malmö's central train station in Sweden, captured in 2015, and unrelated to Israel.

In Fact

A reverse image search on one of the video's keyframes shows that the video dates back to 2015. The viral video was found on a YouTube channel called "My Chen," posted on February 16, 2015. It was titled "Subway security guard wrestles and chokes 9-year-old child for riding without a ticket." The description of the video also claims that "Two boys aged 9 and 12 were stopped by security guards/ticket controllants in Malmo Central station." 

The screengrab of the video was also found on the news channel France 24, The Observers reports. The report stated that police are investigating two private security guards who were seen on camera on February 6, 2015, violently assaulting a nine-year-old child and his friend at Malmö train station in Sweden. A private security guard was seen slamming the youngster to the ground, sitting on him, and covering the boy's mouth and face with his hands. Many witnesses alleged that the boys could not speak Swedish and had fled from a care home.

The Local, a Swedish news website, reported that the local newspaper Sydsvenskan was the first to publish the video. It adds that the child and his 12-year-old friend were held by the guard, who worked for the security firm Svensk Bevakningstjänst after they were kicked off a train for not having a ticket. The police said they were investigating the two guards after receiving twelve complaints. Skåne police spokesman Linda Pleym, who spoke to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, said they would be questioned about the alleged assault.

According to Sveriges Radio, a national, publicly funded radio station in Sweden, the security guard was suspended, and police said they would not investigate the matter. Skåne police spokesperson Lars Förstell told Metro news that there were insufficient grounds to file a complaint against the security guard. She added, "We've watched the clip and deemed that there is no reason to take this any further. The violence does not exceed… that is, things often look more remarkable on images than in reality. It's often the case that you have to overpower a person in order to ensure they do not cause more harm to themselves." This confirms that the video is from Sweden and not from Israel.

The Verdict

An eight-year-old video from Sweden's Malmö train station has been falsely linked to the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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