An ambulance during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank.
It is claimed crisis actors are being used to exaggerate civilian casualties. Image by EPA PHOTO

Hospital video isn’t proof of Palestinian ‘crisis actors’

William Summers November 14, 2023

Videos show a Palestinian ‘crisis actor’ in critical condition in hospital one day but perfectly fine the next.


False. The videos feature two different men and were filmed months apart.

Some social media users are claiming a video of a Palestinian man writhing in agony in a hospital bed is fake because a second video shot the following day shows the same man in perfect health.

The claim is false. The two videos feature two different Palestinian men. Additionally, the two videos were published months apart. They were not recorded on consecutive days. 

False accusations about the videos featuring the same person are widespread on social media, including here, here, here and here

Gaza hospital claim
 It is being claimed the videos show the same person, shot just hours apart. 

 Some posts about the man use the hashtags #Pallywood (also spelled #Palywood, #Paliwood or #Palliwood), a portmanteau of the words ‘Palestine’ and ‘Hollywood’

The term Pallywood is meant to suggest that Palestinian ‘crisis actors‘ are pretending to be injured or dead for the cameras, to exaggerate the scale of civilian casualties in Gaza.

This October 26 Facebook post, for example, said: “Pallywood in action. Just yesterday, this guy (Hamas’ actor) was filmed in a critical condition at the hospital. Today he uploaded this video. He looks very healthy to me.

“Are the hospitals in Gaza that great, or they’re just lying again?”

But claims the two videos show the same man are false. 

The video of the man in hospital was published to TikTok on August 19, almost two months before Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.

The Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement (ISM) named the hospitalised man as 16-year-old Mohammed Zendiq. 

According to the ISM, Mr Zendiq lost his leg during an explosion at the Nur Shams refugee camp in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank following a raid by Israeli security forces on July 24. 

The teenager was “rushed to an Israeli hospital where his right leg was amputated just above the knee”, the ISM said. 

The Times of Israel newspaper reported the Nur Shams raid here.

Other videos showing a person who appears to be Mr Zendiq in hospital can be seen here and here.

Later videos of Mr Zendiq missing a leg can be seen here, here and here

Gaza hospital
 The publication date can be seen as August 19 (red ring). 

The man wrongly claimed to be the same person seen in the hospital video is a Palestinian vlogger called Saleh Aljafarawi, whose Instagram account lists his location as Gaza. 

Mr Aljafarawi has published dozens of videos documenting the aftermath of Israeli air strikes in Gaza, many of them featuring injured Palestinians or destroyed buildings.

Most of Mr Aljafarawi’s videos are shot as ‘selfies’ in which he speaks into the camera.

The video of Mr Aljafarawi walking among smoking debris in Gaza – the clip most commonly claimed to show the man in the hospital video after a miraculous recovery – was published to the vlogger’s Instagram channel on October 26, three months after Mr Zendiq reportedly lost his leg.

Claims the two videos show the same man have also been debunked by other fact-checking organisations, including here, here, here and here

Some social media posts also claim the same man has been photographed using a mobile phone while pretending to be a corpse in a body bag (see for example here and here). 

AAP FactCheck previously debunked claims the phone-using corpse was a crisis actor in Gaza. Instead, the photo shows a child dressed in a Halloween costume in Thailand in 2022. 

AAP FactCheck has published multiple fact-checks about misinformation linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict, including here, here, here and here

The Verdict

The claim that a hospitalised Palestinian man appears fit and well in a video recorded the following day is false. 

The two videos feature two different people.

The man in the hospital was reported to be 16-year-old Mohammed Zendiq, who lost his leg in an explosion on July 24. The video was published on August 19. 

The uninjured man is a Palestinian vlogger named Saleh Aljafarawi. His video was published more than two months later on October 26.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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