No, this video does not show the recent arrest of a 5-year-old Palestinian boy

By: Emincan Yüksel
December 7 2023

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No, this video does not show the recent arrest of a 5-year-old Palestinian boy

Screenshot of social media post claiming arrest of Palestinian child. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

This video is from 2013. Though the child was illegally detained but not arrested, he was soon released to his family.

Claim ID af6f539e


On November 21, 2023, a social media account in Türkiye shared a post on X (formerly Twitter) with a video claiming that it shows the arrest of a 5-year-old Palestinian boy by Israeli soldiers. To date, the post has received over 1.2 million views, 45,000 likes, and 27,000 reposts. The same video was later shared by far-right influencer Jackson Hinkle, who has pivoted to sharing Israel-Palestine content since the outbreak of the war and making unevidenced claims. 

In fact

A reverse image search using keyframes reveals the video was first posted on YouTube in July 2013. Widely publicized news on the incident states that the Israeli army was accused of illegally detaining a 5-year-old Palestinian child for throwing rocks in the West Bank town of Hebron.

(Source: YouTube, Palestinian boy, five, 'held by Israeli troops')

In this incident, a boy named Wadi Maswadeh was taken into an army jeep with a man while he was crying. The video does not show any violence.

Following the incident, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) said that the child was detained after throwing rocks near the checkpoint. It added the boy should not have been detained as the age of criminal responsibility in Israel is 12. 

However, B'Tselem stated the soldiers also detained the father of the child, taking them both to a military area where they were held for about 30 minutes. The father was blindfolded. 

(Source: YouTube, B'Tselem)

In response, the Israeli army said that the boy had endangered people by throwing rocks into the street and made the following statement: "IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers intervened on the spot and accompanied the minor to his parents. From there he was passed on to the care of the Palestinian Security Forces, all the while accompanied by his parents. The child was not arrested and no charges were filed."

Since the detention of children in Israel is seen as a long-standing human rights issue, footage often appears on social media, along with data on the number of children detained.

B'Tselem states that according to statistics on Palestinian minors in Israeli custody, at the end of September 2023, the Israeli Prison Service was holding 146 Palestinian children in detention or prison on security grounds.

Logically Facts has published nearly 20 fact-checks about children and babies in this conflict. Some examples can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

The verdict

This video does not show the arrest of a Palestinian 5-year-old boy by Israeli soldiers. This is an incident from 2013, and the boy was not arrested. According to B'Tselem, the boy was detained and then kept in a military area with his father. The boy was then handed over to Palestinian Security Forces. He was not arrested. This video of his brief detention is being shared out of context. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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