In the latest of a series of allegations about staged casualties in the Israel-Hamas war, social media users are claiming a video shows Palestinians faking their deaths. This is false; the clip has been online since at least 2021 and appears to depict a comedic sketch featuring influencers.
“Did you ever see a better #Pallywood video than this?!” says a November 30, 2023 post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The video shows three men arranging themselves in a row on the ground, their eyes closed as though they were dead.
Similar posts spread across X — many invoking the term “Pallywood,” a derogatory label blending “Palestine” and “Hollywood.” The term has accompanied a flood of “crisis actor” conspiracy theories accusing civilians from both Israel and the Gaza Strip of faking injuries or deaths to garner sympathy and demonize the other side.
Such disinformation has exploded online since Hamas militants stormed across the highly militarized Gaza border into Israel on October 7, taking around 240 hostages and killing about 1,200 people — mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.
The latest video claimed to show Gazans feigning such casualties predates the escalation of violence by almost three years.
AFP could not independently verify the context or purpose of the video. But laughter and commentary in the footage suggest it was meant to be comedic.
Expressions generally reserved for solemn occasions are heard alongside laughing in the background — including a phrase often recited at funerals that translates to: “There is no god but the only God, the martyr is beloved by God.”
The video’s caption also includes laughing emojis.
The outlet identified the men in the clip as Palestinian influencers who have Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder (archived here and here). Misbar reported they are from the West Bank and that the video was a comedic scene.
AFP has debunked other misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war, including false “crisis actor” claims, here.