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Fact Check

Videos Of A Dead Palestinian Baby Viral Claiming It Is A Plastic Doll

BOOM found that the viral video shows the dead body of a five-month-old baby Muhammad Hani Al-Zahar who was killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

By - Anmol Alphonso | 2 Dec 2023 10:37 AM GMT

Two videos of a Palestinian woman cradling and grieving over the dead body of her five-month-old baby, who died in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza is being shared with a false claim that it is not a human baby but a plastic doll. Several verified X (formerly Twitter) handles and Israeli news outlet Jerusalem Post amplified the false claim that the woman is grieving over a plastic doll resembling a baby.

BOOM found that the videos show the dead body of a five-month-old baby Muhammad Hani Al-Zahar who was killed after Israeli airstrikes in Deir Al-Balah in the Gaza strip.

Israel resumed its bombardment on Gaza immediately after a week-long truce between them and the Islamist militant group Hamas ended on Friday. Israeli forces concentrated their attacks on eastern areas of Khan Younis and also on the coastal line of the city, where they destroyed a number of residential houses reported Al Jazeera. Around 184 people have been killed since resumption of the fighting according to Gaza authorities reported The Guardian. More than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the October 7 conflict began. In Israel the official death toll stands at about 1,200 killed.

Pallywood, a sinister portmanteau of Palestine and Hollywood, is part of the disinformation being shared around the Israel-Palestine war. BOOM has debunked several such videos part of the Pallywood campaign being shared especially by extreme right wing accounts.

X handle Mr Sinha (@MrSinha_) shared the 24 seconds video with the caption, "That's a plastic/toy baby. Heights of propaganda". BOOM has previously fact-checked several pieces of misinformation
posted by this X handle especially around the Israel-Palestine war.

Click here to view, and here for an archive

Another video of the same baby being held by an old man is also viral on X with the false claim. Verified X handle @RadioGenoa posted the 47 video with the caption, "Why do they use dolls?"


Click here to view, and here for an archive

Israeli news outlet The Jerusalem Post also misreported the viral video falsely claiming that the dead body in is actually a doll.


Click here to view, and here for an archive

FACT-CHECK

BOOM found that the viral video shows the dead body of a five-month-old Palestinian baby named Muhammad Hani Al-Zahar who was brought to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital by the mother Asmahan Attia Al-Zahar and grandfather Attia Abu Amra after the Israeli airstrikes on Deir Al-Balah, Gaza.

We noticed the name, 'omar_aldirawi' visible in the video as a watermark, and a search for this led us to the Instagram handle of Palestinian journalist Omar Aldirawi.  Aldirawi had posted the video on December 1, 2023, with the caption, "A mother bid farewell to her martyr child, who was no more than 5 months old and was one of the targets of the occupation. This morning after it violated the truce."

This caption has been blurred out from the viral video to make the false claim. We can see the same sequence of events as in the viral video.



We also found several photos of the same dead baby on Getty Images attributed to photojournalist Ali Jadallah / Anadolu. Anadolu is a news agency run by the Turkish government.

The caption of the photos read, "Dead body of a 5-month-old Palestinian baby named Muhammad Hani Al-Zahar, is brought to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital by his mother Asmahan Attia Al-Zahar and grandfather Attia Abu Amra after the Israeli airstrikes at the end of the humanitarian pause in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on December 1, 2023. 32 Palestinians were killed within 3 hours of the end of the humanitarian pause in Gaza."

The mother and the grandfather holding the dead body of the child in the viral video also match with the people in the photos below.


 Click here to view

BOOM has previously debunked a similar video that several official social media accounts linked to the Israeli government had shared which claimed that the dead body of another child in Gaza was a doll. 

We have also debunked several pieces of misinformation with unrelated visuals from movies and other events that are being falsely connected to the conflict to claim that Palestinians are faking their deaths in Gaza.