An old video from Sweden of a train station guard assaulting a minor for allegedly travelling without a ticket is being shared with a false claim that it shows an Israeli policeman strangling a Palestinian child to death.
The video is being shared against backdrop of escalating violence between Israel and Palestine. Israel's forcible eviction of Palestinians from the disputed area of Sheikh Jarrah and its raid of the the al-Aqsa mosque on May 10 led to clashes between the two groups. Hamas responded to the raids with missile strikes with Israel counter-attacking with missile strikes of their own. The ongoing bombing has reportedly led to about 150 deaths till date with the majority being Palestinians.
The disturbing video shows a guard pushing the boy onto the ground, sitting on him and covering his mouth with his hands. The boy who is struggling, can be heard reciting the Shahada, an Islamic prayer. The video is viral on Facebook and Twitter with the caption mentioning that the Islamic prayer and linking it to the recent attacks in Palestine.
The caption reads, "An Israeli police man strangles a palestinian Child to death on saturday during the protest of US embassy move to the Jerusalem. The innocent boy even read Kalima e shahadat before dying. Despite many attempts by groups to upload this video to the Youtube, its been consistently removed and deleted from google, Facebook and youtube. pls make this video viral so that it reaches all the media."
A reverse image search on the video keyframe showed results from February 2015 of an incident at a train station in Sweden where a private security guards hired by the station assaulted a nine-year-old boy for allegedly travelling without a train ticket.
We also found that the same video has been viral on Facebook since 2017 and is routinely revived with the same false claim that it shows an Israeli policeperson beating a Palestinian child to death.
According to a report in The Local, a Sweden based news outlet, the "guard, employed by security company Svensk Bevakningstjänst, had detained the boy and his 12-year-old friend after they were thrown off a train for travelling without a ticket." The report further added that the same video was first carried by a local Swedish language newspaper Sydsvenskan.
The incident was also reported by UK based daily, The Independent which also carried a screengrab from the video which matches the viral video.
The report also carried a comment from the spokesperson of the security company Jernhusen and quoted Cecilia Granath, spokeswoman, acknowledging the incident and saying, "We have a zero-tolerance policy towards excessive violence."
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