A man surveys the destruction at the Jabaliya refugee camp
A man surveys the destruction at the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza. Image by AP PHOTO

‘Gaza footage’ mislabelled in war fakery claim

William Summers November 13, 2023

A behind-the-scenes video reveals Palestinians attempting to fake war casualties.


False. The footage is from the set of a Lebanese short film about Palestine. It does not purport to be real-life footage.

Behind-the-scenes footage from a short film – including actors being given direction, makeup being applied to faces and performers smiling to the camera – is being claimed as proof Palestinians are going to extraordinary efforts to fake war casualties in Gaza.

The claim is false. The footage shows the making of a short Lebanese film about the war in Palestine.

The resulting film – titled ‘The Reality’ – is a surrealist 45-second narrative that includes a voiceover, confetti and a violinist. 

The film also includes an English-speaking narrator, who talks about the death and destruction caused by war. At the end of the film, a young girl with a bloodied face is rolled into view on a stretcher. 

Viewed in context, the final version of the film could not reasonably be mistaken for real-life war footage, and there is no suggestion the creators attempted to trick people into thinking it was anything other than a fictionalised short story.

Palestine video
 The claim started to appear in early November. 

Actual or implied claims that the behind-the-scenes footage shows a Hamas propaganda film being made have been widespread on social media throughout early November (see for example here, here, here and here). 

This November 9 post on X, formerly known as Twitter, posted the behind-the-scenes footage alongside a comment that said: “Little girl ‘hurt’ by the director. Why do they use children for this?”

The footage was also shared by Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who similarly suggested it showed Palestinians manufacturing fake war videos. 

“The Palestinians are fooling the international media and public opinion. DON’T FALL FOR IT,” Mr Gendleman wrote on X on November 9. 

“See for yourselves how they fake injuries and evacuating (sic) ‘injured’ civilians, all in front of the cameras.”

Some of the claims in question refer to ‘Pallywood’, a portmanteau of the words ‘Palestine’ and ‘Hollywood’ that is meant to suggest Palestinian ‘crisis actors‘ are pretending to be injured or dead for the cameras.

The behind-the-scenes footage at the centre of the claim was published on October 30 on the Instagram page of Lebanese actor Rami Jardali. 

Mr Jardali’s Instagram and TikTok accounts feature numerous videos and photos of him with the young girl seen on the stretcher in the film, who appears from the context of his social media accounts to be Mr Jardali’s real-life daughter.

A photo from the film set posted on Omar Atabb’s Instagram.

Behind-the-scenes content from the set has also been published to the Instagram account of Lebanese actor Omar Atabb, who stars in the opening shot of ‘The Reality’. 

The final cut of the film was posted to Instagram on October 29 by film director Mahmoud Ramzi.

When contacted by AAP FactCheck, Mr Ramzi said ‘The Reality’ was filmed in the South Lebanon city of Saida (Sidon). 

The viral behind-the-scenes footage was recorded on the set of that film, Mr Ramzi confirmed.

“It was not filmed to mislead people or to fabricate any truth, because what’s happening in Gaza don’t need any form of fabrication, the videos are all over the media,” the director said. 

The claim that the footage shows Palestinians faking war injuries has also been debunked by other fact-checking organisations here, here and here.

The Verdict

The claim that behind-the-scenes footage from a film set shows Palestinians attempting to fake war casualties is false. 

The footage comes from the set of a 45-second Lebanese film about the war in Palestine. It is an artistic portrayal of war that includes a voiceover and surrealist scenes. 

There is no evidence the creators have tried to pass off the content as real footage from a warzone.

False – The claim is inaccurate. 

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