Video of ‘Rafah actors’ actually from Palestinian TV drama series

10 May 2024
What was claimed

A video shows actors in the city of Rafah being made up to appear dead or injured.

Our verdict

This isn’t correct. The video is a behind-the-scenes clip from a Palestinian drama series, which was shown in March 2024.

A video is being shared online with the implication that it shows “Rafah actors” preparing to pretend to be dead or injured in Gaza. This comes amidst reports Israel appears to be set to launch a large-scale assault on the city in the south of Gaza.

In the clip, which is circulating on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and shared over 4,000 times on X (formerly Twitter), a man lies on a stretcher while a woman applies makeup to his chest and neck, and another man sits in what appears to be a body bag—while smoking a cigarette. 

Text overlaid on the video says “Make-up Gaza Style” and has a watermark of an account which shares what it claims are “Pallywood” videos—a portmanteau of Palestine and Bollywood

Full Fact has written several times about this term, which in some cases has been previously used to caption videos or images incorrectly claiming to show those in Gaza faking images of harm to civilians during the war. 

A caption with one post sharing the video on Facebook says: “Rafah actors are preparing, and we may soon witness disturbing footage from Rafah.”

But this video actually shows behind-the-scenes footage of a Palestinian drama series, called Bleeding Dirt, and is unrelated to Israel’s planned military offensive in Rafah.

The actors in the clip being shared can be seen in the same makeup and costume during an episode of the show, available online. The description with the video says it premiered on 12 March 2024. 

According to Palestinian fact checkers Kashif, the scene was filmed in a town near Nablus, in the West Bank, not Gaza.

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What is happening in Rafah?

Israel issued evacuation orders for eastern parts of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on 6 May as part of its stated aim to eliminate Hamas. According to the UN, 80,000 people have left Rafah since 6 May amid constant bombardment and reports of the gathering of Israeli tanks near built up areas.

Misleading videos such as these can spread quickly during global events and major conflicts. We have checked many videos and images about the Israel-Gaza conflict that have been miscaptioned to claim they show something they do not.

It is especially important to consider whether something shows what it claims before sharing it—you can read more about this in our guide about how to fact check misleading videos.

Image courtesy of DYKT Mohigan

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