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Israel-Palestine war: Netanyahu spokesman's 'Pallywood' claim quickly debunked

Ofir Gendelman shared a video of a Lebanese movie production falsely claiming it was produced by Palestinians faking scenes in Gaza
Ofir Gendelman is the spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters)

A social media post by the spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ofir Gendelman, claiming to show Palestinians faking civilian injuries for cameras to fool the international media has been roundly debunked.

The Israeli diplomat and spokesperson to the Arab media attempted to pass off behind-the-scenes footage from a Lebanese short film as proof that Palestinians were faking injuries during Israel’s month-long assault on Gaza

On Thursday, Gendelman, shared a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, which read: “The Palestinians are fooling the international media and public opinion. Don’t fall for it. See for yourselves how they fake injuries and evacuating 'injured' civilians, all in front of the cameras. 'Pallywood' gets busted again.”

The false post is still online, unedited despite a community note on X fact-checking the post. 

“The video is the backstage of the short film The Reality shot in Lebanon by Lebanese actors to support the population of Gaza,” said the community note on the post which has been viewed more than 18 million times. 

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In the video clip posted by Gendelman, a young girl is covered in fake blood as part of a scene in which emergency workers rush in to help her. 

The director of the movie, Mahmoud Ramzi, and the child actor in the video, Rami Jardali, both took to Instagram to rebut attempts to use the footage to make false claims about Palestinians. 

Gendelman sought to defend his post on Thursday night saying that “Palestinian accounts have published this video as if it was genuine. That's why it was posted here".

Past claims

The Reality was produced to pay homage to Palestinians whose lives have been uprooted by consecutive wars. 

This is not the first time that Gendelman has posted fake footage to talk about Palestinians. 

Over the weekend he posted a “must watch” video purporting to show Israeli army dogs chasing Hamas fighters in tunnels in Gaza which garnered almost eight million views.

However, the footage was false and there was a community note on X rebuking the video.

Israeli military correspondent, Yoav Zitun, said the footage was a video from a training exercise by the Israeli army. 

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In 2021 Gendelman shared a video claiming that Hamas was firing rockets at Israel "from populated areas".

"1/3 of these 250+ rockets fell inside the Gaza Strip, killing Palestinians," Ofir Gendelman said at the time.

The BBC found that the video was old footage from Syria rather than Gaza in 2018.

At the time, Twitter, which was not yet renamed as X, labelled the post as "manipulated media" and, after criticism, Gendelman deleted the post.

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