Old, unrelated image of Syrian child amputee linked to ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict

By: Rahul Adhikari
December 15 2023

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Old, unrelated image of Syrian child amputee linked to ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict

Social media posts claiming that this image is from the Israel-Palestine conflict. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The viral image dates back to 2019 and reportedly shows a Syrian child who survived an electric shock and underwent quadruple amputation.

Claim ID 7eb895ed

What is the claim?

A photograph of a child with quadruple amputations is circulating online, depicting him as a victim of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The image shows a child, missing both hands and legs, lying in a hospital bed, with a man seated beside him. This image has been widely shared on X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok. 

One such post on X reads: “Was this self-defense @Keir_Starmer @piersmorgan? We will NOT stop until the carnage stops. We will stop tagging you when YOU start condemning the genocide and taking active steps towards the implementation of a permanent Ceasefire. #CeasefireNOW #Gaza_Genocide.”

The post has garnered over 60,000 views and 2,300 likes. The image has been shared in the short video format on TikTok with the phrase “Free Palestine” written on the video. Archived versions of the posts can be found here, here, and here.

Screenshot of the viral post on X. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this image is not recent and dates back to 2019.

What did we find?

A reverse image search traced the photo back to 2019. It was initially shared with an Arabic caption explaining that the incident occurred in Baniyas, Syria. The boy, 10-year-old Mahmoud Hassan Ali, survived an electric shock but unfortunately lost his limbs. He was treated at Banyas National Hospital, and the post appealed for donations for his medical care.

Screenshot of the Facebook post shared in 2019 with the translated caption. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

Another Facebook user shared several images of the boy in a hospital with the man seen in the viral image. These images differ from the viral one and show the man and a woman checking on the boy lying on a bed. The Arabic caption of the post stated that the child is from Al-Qadmus town in the Baniyas district of Syria.

In 2021, another set of photos emerged, showing Mahmoud smiling in a chair, his amputated legs now bandaged. A Facebook user noted that Mahmoud had survived an electric shock the previous year and was receiving treatment at Hamish Hospital in Damascus. The post mentioned that prosthetic limbs had been fitted and that Mahmoud was learning to walk again.

Screenshot of the Facebook post shared in 2021. The Arabic caption has been translated into English using Google Translate. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

While we couldn't independently verify these Facebook posts, it's evident that the viral image is unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas conflict, having first appeared online in 2019, well before the latest escalation of hostilities.

Logically Facts has contacted the social media users who posted the photos for further information and will update this story accordingly.

The Verdict

The image of a young Syrian amputee has been inaccurately presented as a victim of the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. We found that the image, along with others of the boy, was initially shared in 2019, confirming its lack of connection to the ongoing conflict. Consequently, we label this claim as misleading.

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