There are claims on social media that crisis actors are being used in Gaza. Image by EPA PHOTO

‘Pallywood video’ is decade-old Egyptian protest

William Summers November 14, 2023

A man who was filmed moving around inside a burial shroud is a Palestinian crisis actor pretending to be dead.


False. The man in the shroud was participating in a student protest in Egypt in 2013.

Some people are claiming a video of a person moving around under a white shroud shows a Palestinian pretending to be a victim of the 2023 war in Gaza. 

This is false. The video has nothing to do with fighting between Israel and Hamas. The footage instead shows people taking part in a student protest in Egypt in 2013.

The video in question shows a row of people covered in what appear to be white sheets or shrouds marked with Arabic writing. As the camera pans over the bodies, one of the shrouds begins to move. 

The hand of a person off-camera is then seen pulling back the moving shroud to reveal a man – who is clearly very much alive – rubbing his nose before laughing.

False claims linking the video to Palestine have appeared across various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok

Fake body post
 Versions of the post have featured across various social media platforms. 

Some of the posts 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.

This Instagram account, for example, published the video along with a caption that read: “Wake up world. They think you are fools! The masters of fake news. Welcome the Palestinians and their Hamas.”

However, the video does not show crisis actors in Palestine. 

Instead, the clip originates from footage of a protest against the Egyptian military government by supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood political movement

The footage of the man moving around under a shroud was published on the YouTube channel of Cairo-based newspaper El Badil on October 29, 2013. 

The description of the 2013 video, translated from Arabic to English by AAP FactCheck using Google Translate, said the footage was filmed at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University

“Dozens of Muslim Brotherhood students at Al-Azhar University organised a massive demonstration in front of the college administration building,” El Badil’s YouTube channel said.

Some students associated with the protest attempted to storm a university building while others lit candles and fireworks, El Badil reported. 

Another Egyptian media organisation, Akhbar El Yom, also published footage of the protest on YouTube on October 29, 2013. 

The demonstration was reportedly part of the mass protests in Egypt that followed a July 2013 military coup that toppled the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi

Other fact-checking organisations have similarly concluded the video originated from Egypt in 2013, not Palestine in 2023 (see for example here, here and here). 

In 2017, the same video was falsely attributed to crisis actors in Syria. 

AAP FactCheck has debunked other videos falsely purporting to show Palestinian crisis actors pretending to be dead or injured, including here, here and here

The Verdict

The claim that a video of a man moving around inside a bodybag shows a Palestinian crisis actor pretending to be dead is false. 

The video originates from a 2013 student protest in Egypt. 

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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