Bird's eye view as Palestinians inspect the damaged Al-Shifa Hospital.
Posts continue to suggest propaganda is being used to exaggerate injuries and deaths in Gaza. Image by EPA PHOTO

Baseless Gaza ‘crisis actors’ claim returns

William Summers May 20, 2024
WHAT WAS CLAIMED

A video of men covered in fake blood shows Palestinians are faking war injuries.

OUR VERDICT

False. The video shows a medical training exercise at Gaza University in 2018.

Social media accounts are sharing a clip of men pretending to be badly injured as proof Palestinians are faking war injuries for the cameras.

This is false. The footage shown features scenes that were part of a “medical awareness” exercise at the Islamic University of Gaza on March 11, 2018.

The university and local media outlets published footage from the event on the day it took place, along with descriptions that clearly stated it was a training exercise.

There is no evidence the event was intended to be used for deceptive purposes.

Facebook post claiming Gazans are faking war casualties.
 Many of the posts are tagged #Gazawood or #Pallywood. 

The clip is the latest in a long line of genuine footage republished out of context to suggest Palestinians are creating fake war videos on an industrial scale.

Some of the videos in question use the hashtag #Pallywood, a combination of Palestine and Hollywood.

The term 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.

But the video in question precedes the current war in Gaza by several years.

The university posted photos from the event on its Facebook page on the day it took place.

“#Watch the Medical Day photos and maneuvering of the Medical College today,” the caption of the March 2018 post said.

The photos posted by the university showed actors covered in fake blood and other people apparently practising their medical skills.

The photos also show other medical-related activities, including people having their blood pressure taken or handing out information sheets.

The same day, Palestine’s Hamas-affiliated Shehab News Agency posted photos of the exercise on Twitter (now X), along with a description reading: “Training at the Islamic University of Gaza simulating the occupation launching a war on Gaza and causing casualties and how to deal with them.”

Al-Aqsa Voice radio station (also affiliated with Hamas) posted images as well, describing the event as a medical training manoeuvre for crisis and disaster management during wartime, while Palestinian medical body Palmontada posted video footage on Facebook.

The 2018 photos and videos include several features that reveal it to be the same event as the one shown in the alleged “Pallywood” clip, such as the distinctive blue and white top worn by one of the “victims“, the white lab coats worn by helpers and the red and white barrier tape.

A closer look at the video also reveals that a man throwing blood towards the actors is wearing a top with a logo reading “special effects make-up”.

Bara’a Al Ma’any, a journalist with Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), told AAP FactCheck he had traced the logo back to a Palestinian special effects artist called Abd Al-baset Al Loulou.

Mr Al Loulou’s special effects work can be seen on his Facebook, Instagram and TikTok channels.

Mr Al Ma’any said Mr Al Loulou confirmed to him that the event in question took place at the Islamic University of Gaza “years ago”.

The Verdict

The claim that a video clip shows Palestinians faking war injuries to exaggerate the scale of casualties in Gaza is false.

The footage is real but has been used out of context. The video was shot at a Gaza university in 2018 as part of a medical training day. The university and local media posted photos of the event to social media on the day it happened.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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