A video purporting to show Palestinians “faking” their own deaths went viral on Sunday, quickly racking up over 1.2 million views on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. But the video isn’t from the Israel-Hamas war. In fact, the video is originally from August and doesn’t even appear to be from the Middle East.
“We’re happy to report his condition has been upgraded to alive,” an account dubbed The Mossad: Satirical Yet Awesome, wrote on Sunday.
And while the satirical account didn’t explicitly say the video depicted Palestinians in Gaza, that was clearly the implication based on the reaction in hundreds of comments.
Other accounts on X have also shared the video with sarcastic captions like, “Another miracle! Praise the Lord!” That tweet has been viewed over half a million times as of this post’s publication.
What does the video actually show? The video can be traced back to a Malaysian-based TikTok account called @metjetak19, which originally posted the video on August 19, several months before the Hamas terror attacks on October 7 that would kill 1,400 Israelis, setting off the current war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The account exclusively posts in Malay, though it’s not entirely clear if it was the first to post the video.
From there, the video was also shared on an Instagram account called Zayan.my, a radio station in Malaysia which reposted the video on October 27. The radio station credited the smaller account and made a joke about how the person in the video should just take a nap since they have a pillow.
The video appears to show an instructional course on funeral management in Malaysia, a suggestion raised by numerous users on X, but something I was unable to independently verify. But the existence of the video on TikTok in August, long before this current war in Gaza started, certainly confirms there was no intent to deceive people with whatever is happening in the video.
If you look closely, there are also several signs this was part of an educational demonstration, as you can see a digital projector and a screen on a tripod. There also appears to be an instructor wearing a headset microphone. A lake or pond is also visible through the back windows which show lush greenery, a setting more in line with Malaysia than Gaza.
A Janazah Management Course is an educational course about how to properly manage a Muslim funeral. Malaysia is roughly 63% Muslim.
Ever since the start of the Israel-Gaza war, there have been a number of fake and misleading videos and images posted on both sides of the conflict. But some have suggested Palestinians are faking their own deaths in a conspiracy theory known as Pallywood—a play on the words Palestine and Hollywood. However, there’s no question Palestinians, including many civilians, are dying in this war, as independent observers like the United Nations have said. At least 72 UN aid workers have been killed since the start of the Israeli bombing campaign.
But Israeli officials dispute the fact that civilians are dying, with the ambassador to the U.S., Michael Herzog, suggesting on Face the Nation on Sunday that no one really knows the number of civilians killed.
“I will be very careful, very careful about judging those numbers because neither you nor I know how many of them are armed terrorists and how many of them are civilians,” Herzog said.
“So let’s be very careful about it, because I don’t know how many of them are terrorists, and our military says that it kills numerous terrorist in armed clashes, so let’s be very careful about that.”
At least 9,770 Palestinians have been killed, according to the latest figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry, with 4,008 of those dead children.
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