Palestinians supposedly faking casualties has become a common theme of disinformation. Image by AP PHOTO

No, Palestinian hospital patient doesn’t admit he’s acting

William Summers November 30, 2023

A video captures a hospitalised Palestinian man telling his mother in Arabic that he is pretending to be injured for the cameras.


False. The video does not include any audible mention of cameras or fake injuries.

Some social media users claim a video shows a hospitalised Palestinian man pacifying his mother by telling her in Arabic that he’s only pretending to be injured for the cameras.

This is false. The video shows a mother being reunited with her son, who she thought had died, but does not show him saying he is faking an injury.

Arabic speakers told AAP FactCheck that the people in the clip don’t mention “cameras” and there’s no indication in the video that the man was pretending to be hurt.

False claims about the contents of the video have been shared across social media amid the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the latest stage of the seven-decade conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

This November 13 Instagram post, for example, included a caption that said: “Mom I’m fine it’s just for the cameras to BS the world”.

Another Facebook post from November 14 says: “The young man’s mother, not knowing that it’s a bluff, is worried… the kid then says to her in Arabic: mom don’t worry it’s just for the camera”.

Hospital debunk
 There are no mentions of cameras or fakery in the clip. 

Other social media posts suggest the man is pretending to be injured without directly claiming he’s telling his mother it is all for the cameras.

Many of the false or misleading posts also use the hashtag #Pallywood, a portmanteau of the words ‘Palestine’ and ‘Hollywood’ that has been widely used on social media to suggest some Palestinians are pretending to be injured or dead to exaggerate the scale of war casualties.

Two Arabic-speaking journalists told AAP FactCheck that nobody in the video makes any audible mention of cameras or fake injuries.

“The conversation is just about the fact that the young man is okay,” said Bara-a Al-Ma’any from the Arab Fact-Checkers Network (AFCN), a fact-checking project led by the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ).

“No one in the video mentions cameras or acting,” Mr Al-Ma’any told AAP FactCheck.

Farid Farid, a news journalist at Australian Associated Press (AAP), the parent organisation of AAP FactCheck, said it’s difficult to make out the words spoken by the hospitalised man due to the background noise, but shouts of “lie down, lie down” can be heard from around the hospital bed.

However, there’s no audible mention of cameras or fake injuries, Mr Farid said.

A Palestinian fact-checking organisation called the Palestinian Observatory for Media Verification and Education, or Kashif, has also debunked claims the man in the video could be heard telling his mother he wasn’t genuinely injured.

Kashif describes itself as “an independent Palestinian platform that aims to combat misleading information in the Palestinian media space, promote the principles of publishing ethics, and spread the culture of verification and critical reading of content in Palestine”.

Kashif on November 14 published an Arab-language article that probed social media claims the man could be seen telling his mother he was acting.

Gaza Strip
 Egyptian health workers at the Rafah crossing on the way to the Gaza Strip 

“The Kashif Observatory verified the claim and found it to be misleading, as the young man did not tell his mother that his head was bandaged only for the sake of filming. Rather, he was telling her that he was fine,” the article said.

Kashif also contacted the journalist who shot the video, Mohamed Awad, who refuted allegations the hospitalised man was acting.

Mr Awad said he recorded the video on the morning of November 13.

“I was standing at the door of Nasser Medical Hospital, and this woman came down screaming, so I walked after her,” Mr Awad told Kashif.

“Her son was injured in the head area and they admitted him to intensive care, so she thought he had died. In the video, they were just reassuring her that her son was fine.

“Even the injured young man sat down and took the bandage off his head to tell her that he was fine.”

AAP FactCheck has previously checked several false claims that certain videos or images show Palestinian ‘crisis actors’ making fake war content, examples here, here, here and here).

The Verdict

The claim a video shows a hospitalised Palestinian man telling his mother he is just pretending to be injured for the cameras is false.

The video shows a group of people talking about the man’s well-being but does not include any indication the footage was staged.

There is no audible mention in the video of people faking injuries for the cameras. The journalist who captured the footage has confirmed the hospital scene was genuine.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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