By: Rahul Adhikari
October 20 2023
Social media posts claiming to show a traumatized child amid the Israel-Hamas war. (Souce: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
The viral video was actually captured in Tajikistan after floods hit the Vahdat region on August 27.
Almost two weeks have passed since Hamas launched the first attack on Israel on October 7, leading to the Israel-Hamas war. According to the latest reports, the death toll in Gaza has reached 3,478, and at least 1,400 people have died in Israel. With no end in sight, hostilities continue, as does the wave of mis/- and disinformation.
What's the claim?
A video circulating on social media claims to show a traumatized child amid the Israel-Hamas war. The child, covered in dust, is seen shivering while holding onto a tree. A man is seen covering the child with a jacket and picking them up. Several users have shared the video on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook. The caption of one such post reads, "Another traumatized child in Gaza! Israel has played a dreadful game of destruction in Gaza, USA is also an equal partner! #StopTheWars🙏🙏🔥🔥 #PalestineGenocide #GazaHospital." This post has garnered over 205,000 views and 1,552 likes. Archived versions of the viral posts can be found here, here, and here.
Screenshots of the viral posts on X. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, this is an old video of a child survivor of the Vahdat floods, passed off as an incident from the Israel-Hamas war.
What we found
A reverse image search revealed that the video dates back to September 2023 and was captured in Vahdat, Tajikistan. We found the viral video in a news report published by the Tajikistan-based media outlet Radio Ozodi. According to the report (translated to English using Google Translation) dated September 6, 2023, the child's name is Safiallah Mirzazoda, and he is seven years old. A flood struck Chuyangaron village in Vahdat on August 27, sweeping away Safiallah, his grandmother Halima Abdurakhmanova, and three other children. The report said Halima, Safiallah, and one other grandchild survived, while two other grandchildren died in the flood. Safiallah was taken to a hospital for treatment, the report added.
Logically Facts has contacted Shahloi Abdulloh, the journalist who covered the incident for Radio Ozodi, for comment. This story will be updated if and when we receive a response.
Comparison between the viral video and the video feature in the news report. (Source: X/Radio Ozodi/Modified by Logically Facts)
Radio Ozodi also published the viral video on YouTube on September 5, 2023, as part of a video report on the incident that showed Safiallah in a hospital bed with his head covered in bandages. The boy's mother and grandmother can also be seen speaking in the video report titled, "The miraculous rescue of seven-year-old Safiallah from the deadly flood of Romit Gorge." Romit Gorge is a mountainous region located in Vahdat district.
Russian-language news organization Current Time TV also published a news report on September 7, 2023, which featured the viral video. The report stated that a mudflow swept away Halima and four of her grandchildren, including Safiallah, on August 27, 2023.
The Tajikistan flood
According to a news report by Al-Jazeera dated August 30, 2023, at least 21 people died after three days of continuous rain, causing floods, landslides, and mudflows in Tajikistan. Mehr News Agency reported that the floods on August 27 affected the districts of Dushanbe, Vahdat, Hisor, Rudaki, Varzob, Devashtich, Rasht, Sangvor, and Tajikabad.
An old video of a boy grabbing onto a tree during a flood in Tajikistan has been falsely linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The video surfaced after the floods hit the Vahdat region on August 27. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.