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Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone November 30, 2023

Video of Israeli police detaining Palestinian boy is from 2018, not current war

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  • A video showing Israeli border police briefly detaining a young Palestinian boy was filmed in 2018 and is not related to the current Israel-Hamas war.

A years-old video of Israeli Border Police officers briefly detaining a young Palestinian child is being used on social media to suggest it shows poor treatment of Palestinians by Israel in its ongoing war with Hamas.

"Israeli occupation forces arrest a 2-year-old child," read sticker text on a Nov. 26 Instagram video. The video shows a small child being held by two armed men while the boy screams for his father. A longer video posted on Instagram on Nov. 22 shows a man and another child intervening and taking the boy away.

The post did not mention when the video was filmed. We found several other social media posts also sharing the video in the context of the current war in Gaza in late November.

The Israel-Hamas war has been deadly for children. More than 6,000 children have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. Dozens of Israeli children were killed or taken hostage by Hamas when militants attacked Israel Oct. 7.

However, this video is from 2018 and is not related to the current war between Israel and Hamas, nor does it show the full context of what transpired.

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

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(Instagram screenshot)

Using a screenshot from the video in a reverse image search, we traced it to news reports about a March 2018 incident in Hebron in the West Bank.

Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, reported that Israeli Border Police officers briefly detained a 3-year-old Palestinian boy who police said was sent to throw stones at them. Police said the boy ran at the officers with a screwdriver and a peeler in his hands.

Video of incident in Hebron in 2018 (Israel Border Police via Haaretz)

Police released a longer security camera video that showed the boy approaching soldiers on the street, then running away. Later, he returned and ran back at the soldiers before one of them grabbed him. The video was filmed from too far away to see if the boy had anything in his hands. A witness told Haaretz the boy had a "gourd scraper" in his hand.

We rate the claim that this video portrays the ongoing Israel-Hamas war False.

PolitiFact news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. 

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Video of Israeli police detaining Palestinian boy is from 2018, not current war

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