Footage of freed prisoners boarding a bus is being used to claim Palestinians are feigning injuries. Image by EPA PHOTO

Video trickery deceives about Palestine prisoner exchange

Blair Simpson-Wise January 3, 2024

A Palestinian prisoner seen in a video using his hands to pull himself onto a bus is a teenager who says he has two broken hands.


False. A video has been selectively edited to show a different prisoner boarding the bus.

A prominent pro-Israel activist has posted footage that he claims is further proof that Palestinians are exaggerating injuries in the current conflict.

Yoseph Haddad published an explainer video about the release of Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Nazzal and the various claims the teenager has made in the weeks since.

Nazzal, who was released from an Israeli prison during the prisoner-hostage exchange, claims guards beat him and left him with fractured hands.

But Haddad says footage of his release, in which he boards a Red Cross bus, debunks the claims.

However, the video has been selectively edited to show a different prisoner boarding the bus.

Nazzal false claim
 The edited footage is being promoted by pro-Israel activist Yoseph Haddad 

“That’s definitely one of the best Palestinian propaganda videos. But because they were caught lying, it turned into the stupidest video ever,” Haddad says in his November 30 Instagram video.

He also posted the video on Facebook.

Haddad claims it is the latest example of Pallywood in action during the current conflict.

Pallywood (sometimes written Palywood, Paliwood or Palliwood) is a portmanteau of the words ‘Palestine’ and ‘Hollywood’ to suggest Palestinian crisis actors are feigning injury and death to exaggerate civilian casualties in the conflict.

“He told the press how Israel … break both of his hands,”  Haddad says in the video alongside footage of a heavily bandaged Nazzal.

“Wait there’s only one problem,” Haddad then says. “The terrorist boy with broken hands was filmed at the moment of release from prison, showing him healthy and intact without casts, using his hands freely.”

The video shows footage of Nazzal, dressed in a grey top and pants, preparing to board the bus. 

The footage then cuts to a person dressed in the same clothing, pulling himself onto the bus using his arms.

Haddad continues: “Mohammed, now that you are out of jail you can start your new career as an actor in Paliwood. You will be a superstar”.  

But the footage has been selectively edited.

The unedited version reveals that the man whom Haddad claims is Nazzal is actually another prisoner.

Nazzal arm claim
 The cropped clip used in Haddad’s video. 

Nazzal arm 2
 The wider shot shows Nazzal (right) and the unidentified prisoner boarding the bus (circled). 

At the start of the full clip, Nazzal is seen approaching the bus with his arms unbandaged and by his side. After confirming his identity (seven-second mark) he goes towards the bus (18 seconds). At this point, the prisoner in front of Nazzal can be seen preparing to board.

This unidentified prisoner, whom Haddad claims is Nazzal in his video, then climbs the stairs of the bus with the help of his arms (24 seconds).

Nazzal follows (33 seconds). His hands don’t make contact with the bus as he climbs the first two steps. His left hand does make contact as he rounds the corner and walks towards the seats. However, it is unclear how much – if any weight – the hand is bearing.

The BBC reported it was provided with X-rays from Palestinian doctors who said they had examined Nazzal following his release. The broadcaster said it showed the images to two doctors in the UK, who confirmed they showed fractures in both hands.

The Israeli authorities have disputed Nazzal’s claims, saying he was examined before his release and no medical issues were discovered.

AAP FactCheck has debunked several “Pallywood” claims in recent months,  here, here, here, and here.

The Verdict

The claim a Palestinian prisoner seen in a video using his hands to pull himself onto a bus is a teenager who says he has two broken hands is false.

The video has been selectively edited. The man claimed to be Mohammed Nazzal is actually another unidentified prisoner.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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