A father mourns his child killed in an Israeli strike on Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, before his burial on October 29, 2023
A father mourns his child killed in an Israeli strike on Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, before his burial on October 29, 2023. AFP News/Mahmud HAMS

While the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) continues its on-the-ground invasion of Gaza and searches for Hamas hostages, pro-Israeli social media accounts have accused Palestinians of staging their suffering.

So far, according to Gaza's Health Ministry, more than 9,000 people have been killed by IDF air strikes.

Due to Israel banning fuel from entering the Strip, hospitals have also been forced to close during the humanitarian crisis – including the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the only cancer treatment facility in Gaza.

One video, which went viral on X, formerly Twitter, was shared by a former member of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Communications and Social Media Team.

Hananya Naftali captioned the video with: "Palestinian blogger 'miraculously' healed in one day from 'Israeli bombing'. Yesterday, he was 'hospitalised', today, he is walking and walking as if nothing happened."

On the left, a clip presented as filmed "today", 1 November 2023, depicted a man walking through rubble. On the right, a clip presented as filmed "yesterday", showed a man with a similar appearance in hospital with an amputated leg.

Naftali and other accounts which posted the footage have dubbed the act as "Pallywood", accusing Gaza's residents of faking their wounds to increase sympathies towards Palestinians from international Internet users.

"Pallywood" was coined in the early 2000s and is a mix of the words 'Palestine' and 'Hollywood'. The word is known as a derogatory label that is used to describe supposed media manipulation and victimisers.

But, after conducting a reverse image search, The Cube found that the original video of the man walking through the rubble was published on 26 October 2023.

The man walking through the debris was identified as Saleh Aljafarwim, who regularly posts about the conflict in Gaza on his Instagram account. On his Instagram platform, there has been no evidence that points to him being in hospital.

"Pallywood" is a derogatory term that was coined in the early 2000s and is a mix of the words 'Palestine' and 'Hollywood'.

Another investigation found that the second video, which depicts the male look-a-like in a hospital bed, was uploaded to TikTok in August 2023.

Alt News, an Indian fact-checking webpage, discovered other videos of the same man in hospital. In the other videos, Israeli flags are in the background, proving that the other man was in an Israeli hospital earlier this year.

Later, the pro-Palestinian site Palsolidarty, published an article that identified the hospitalised individual as 16-year-old Mohammed Zendiq who lost his leg "during the invasion of the Nour Shams refugee camp, near Tulkarem, by Israeli occupation forces".

The teenager, who has an Israeli identity card, was visiting his father in the Nur Shams camp, located in the northern part of the West Bank when he was hit by an explosion – says Palsolidarty.

The article also noted that the young man was "rushed to an Israeli hospital where his right leg was amputated just above the knee". The footage, of the boy in the hospital, was taken in August 2023, the article said.

The accusations towards Gazan civilians fabricating their injuries for international attention are false, considering the young man in the hospital bed is not the same as the man seen walking through the rubble.

This month, on 29 October, Naftali posted images on X and claimed that they were of "Gaza beach today at Deir Al-Balah".

The images depicted a number of children and adults in the sea, a woman hanging clothes out to dry and a group of youngsters carrying a wooden boat in the water.

The former member of Prime Minister Netanyahu's Communications and Social Media Team captioned the images with: "Israel focuses its military efforts solely on combating Hamas-ISIS while taking measures to protect the lives of Gaza's civilian population."

Underneath the post, one X user commented: "You mean after you cut their water, electricity, and communication, they are using seawater to wash themselves, their clothes, and cooking utensils."