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A bloodied Palestinian baby doll seen on a toy shelf in social media videos was not made in Israel. It was created in Mexico by a person bringing attention to the deaths of children in Gaza.
Learn more about PolitiFact’s fact-checking process and rating system.
A video of a bloodied Palestinian baby doll on display at a toy store with packaging that says it was "made in Israel" has angered dozens of social media users.
"Palestinian baby doll made in Israel … This is sickening," read text above a video shared Jan. 9 on Instagram. The video showed the doll packaged with toy soldiers with the wording, "incluye bebe Palestino," which translates to "includes Palestinian baby." The package also displays an Israeli flag, a U.S. flag, a NATO flag and a European Union flag.
A caption on the post said, "Disgusting!!!!!" The toy is seen on a shelf with other dolls at a crowded outdoor market, though the market’s locale is unclear from the video.
The Instagram 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.)
The video seen in the Instagram post was originally posted on that platform by another user on Jan. 7. That user wrote, "The twisted and sickening reality is laid bare: a Palestinian baby doll, smeared in blood, discovered in a Mexican toy store" in a caption next to the video.
But after scrolling down in that post’s lengthy caption, it seems the video was not what the original poster thought it was.
The user posted an update — it’s not clear when — that said the bloodied baby doll was artwork by another person that was placed in a Mexican toy store to stir controversy.
The updated post said the doll was the work of a person using the Instagram account name @vlocke_negro.
That account had three separate Instagram posts showing the same doll.
In a Jan. 5 Instagram post, the video contains the same imagery of the doll on a shelf seen in the Instagram post we are fact-checking, although this video is longer and plays at a faster speed. A person in the video carries the doll around a crowded night market.
A caption we translated from Spanish reads, "Toy that I found this Kings Day at the tianguis (store) de la Col Doctores, Mexico City. Elite Israeli soldiers. Including a Palestinian baby doll. Made in Israel??"
A Jan. 6 Instagram post shares two slides showing a person holding the doll, and another where the doll sat among other toys on a shelf.
A caption reads, "Update, update. Nobody has died in the realization that this protest is trying to make visible what happens every day in the Gaza Strip, we managed to get your attention."
The post expressed support for Palestine, condemned the deaths of children in Gaza, and said street vendors at the market allowed the poster to put the dolls on their shelves and take photos.
Finally, in a Jan. 9 post, a video shows a hand wiping the blood off the doll, with another caption explaining the idea behind the dolls.
We contacted the person behind the account, who said he goes by the stage name Vlocke Negro and described himself as a conceptual artist in Mexico City.
He described the doll as an "activist art piece" intended to "present the reality of what is
happening in Gaza, the murder of 10,000 children and innocent people, by part of the Israeli army with the support of the United States, the Union European and NATO." He said he created only one doll, and it is not for sale anywhere.
The artist said he often goes to the Merced market to buy toys for his art projects and this time found realistic babies and a set of classic soldiers. He made the label for the packaging on the Palestinian doll by scanning the original packaging and adding the flags of Israel, the EU, NATO and the "made in Israel" symbol using an image-editing program.
On Jan. 5 — Three Kings Day, a day when children in Mexico and other countries receive gifts — he said he went to a popular street market in the La Colonia Doctores neighborhood, where vendors at two locations allowed him to film the doll among their wares.
After we spoke, Vlocke Negro posted a new Instagram reel Jan. 11 showing him packaging the baby doll.
Videos showing a bloodied Palestinian baby doll weren’t made in Israel, as several social media posts suggest. The doll was created as a protest to bring attention to the deaths of children in Gaza. The claim is False.
Instagram post, Jan. 9, 2024
Instagram post, Jan. 6, 2024
Email interview, Vlocke Negro, Jan. 11, 2024
Vlocke_negro, Instagram post, Jan. 5, 2024
Vlocke_negro, Instagram post, Jan. 6, 2024
Vlocke_negro, Instagram post, Jan. 9, 2024
Vlocke_negro, Instagram post, Jan. 11, 2024
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