No, this video does not show a Palestinian man faking a head injury

By: Umme Kulsum
November 15 2023

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No, this video does not show a Palestinian man faking a head injury

Screenshots of the false claims made online. (Source: X/TikTok/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The original version of the video uploaded by a journalist in Gaza shows the injured man being carried into a hospital on a stretcher for treatment.

Claim ID e6f33160

What’s the claim

A video clip showing someone unwrapping a bandage from an injured man's head in front of an older woman in what appears to be a hospital ward is doing the rounds on social media with the claim that the man is faking his injuries. This narrative of people allegedly faking their injuries has been shared widely over the past three weeks to discredit the suffering of those affected by airstrikes in Gaza. One X (formerly Twitter) user shared the video with the caption, "Even his mother believed it for a second!" The post had over 4,85,000 views at the time of publishing. An archived version of the post can be found here.

This video has gained traction across social media platforms such as TikTok and Facebook. On TikTok, one post (archived here) garnered over 35,000 views. This post was shared with the caption, "Hi, @CNN @ABC News @Reuters @The Associated Press @الجزيرة @BBC @The New York Times I found for you a new video from Gaza, I'm sure you will find time to integrate it into your broadcasts…"

Similarly, on Facebook, a user shared the video (archived here) with a Hebrew caption, "Mom, everything is ok it's just for the camera (translated)," and amassed over 1,000 likes.

Screenshots of claims made online. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, Logically Facts found the injured man was admitted to Nasser Medical Centre hospital in Gaza and was not feigning his injuries.

What did we find?

Logically Facts found that Mohmmed Awad, a journalist reporting from Gaza, had first posted a longer version of the viral clip on his Instagram story on November 12. Logically Facts viewed the story uploaded by Awad, which showed the man being transported to the hospital in an ambulance and later being carried inside on a stretcher. The distraught woman wearing the black headscarf, identified as the man's mother, can also be seen accompanying him into the hospital. Shared below are screenshots from Awad's Instagram story.

Screenshot from Awad's Instagram story. (Source: Instagram/@mohmmed_awad89) 

It is noteworthy that the images show that apart from injuries on his head and face, the man in question had sustained injuries on his arm and hands as well. 

We also observed that the journalist shared several other videos on his Instagram account the same day, featuring the hospital's entrance, which displayed the name 'Nasser Medical Centre.' We geolocated the hospital and cross-referenced its location, as well as the visuals seen in the viral video. We could spot the red-and-white building from the videos shared by Awad on Google Maps next to the medical center.

Comparison of viral video and Google Maps photos. (Source: Google Maps Photos/Instagram/@mohmmed_awad89)

This indicates that the injured man in the video was taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, located in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Journalist Mohmmed Awad confirmed to the Indian fact-checking organization BOOM that the video was filmed at the Nasser Medical Centre. He said, "This young man was injured by shrapnel in the head, but in order to reassure his mother, he removed the medical cover."

He debunked the claim of fake injuries while speaking to Kashif, a Palestinian fact-checking website. He said the video was recorded on November 12 and added, "I was standing at the entrance of the Nasser Medical Hospital, and this woman came screaming, so I walked behind her. Her son had a head injury and was taken to the intensive care unit; she thought he had been killed. People in the video were reassuring her that her son was okay. Even the injured young man sat down and took the bandage off his head to tell her he was okay."

Logically Facts also cross-checked what was being said in the video. Our translators confirmed that the man was trying to reassure his mother that he was fine. The word "camera" is never uttered in the video, countering the viral narrative that he was posing for cameras.

We have also reached out to Awad, and this check will be updated if and when we receive a comment from him.

Claims like this are a part of the 'Pallywood' narrative— a combination of the words Palestine and Hollywood—spread by pro-Israeli social media accounts that allege that Palestine is using 'crisis actors' to 'fake' injuries — which is seen as an attempt to discredit or downplay the effects of the Israel-Hamas conflict on those living in the Gaza Strip. Logically Facts' breaks down this narrative here.

The verdict

The man's injuries are real; he is not faking them. A longer video uploaded by a Palestinian journalist Mohmmed Awad, shows him being carried from an ambulance onto a stretcher and being brought into a hospital. 

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