Does a social media video show a "Hamas terrorist with kidnapped Jewish baby girl in Gaza," following the Hamas attack on Israel in early October 2023? No, that's not true: Lead Stories found the original video and it predates the October 7, 2023, attack by nearly a month. The man who posted the original said the video was shot in the West Bank city of Hebron in September 2023 and the girl in the video is Arab.
The claim appeared in a post and video (archived here) published by Mark Zell, chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel and a vice president of Republicans Overseas, on X, formerly known as Twitter, on October 8, 2023. The post's caption said:
Hamas terrorist with kidnapped Jewish baby girl in Gaza. The caption in Arabic reads " A lost girl". This is our enemy.
This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:
(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Oct 10 14:32:23 2023 UTC)
The caption in Arabic reads " A lost girl". This is our enemy.
The original video
From the video posted on X by Zell, Lead Stories was able to track down the original poster's account. The bottom right-hand corner of the clip says, "@ izzeddin_masalma" under the TikTok logo. Although his TikTok account has since been deleted, Izzeddin Masalma also has social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram. And even though the original post is no longer available, it was archived and a screenshot of it can be seen below:
(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Oct 10 15:43:24 2023 UTC)
Before the attack
Circled in blue near the bottom of the screenshot (above) is the date the TikTok video was published, which was September 8, 2023, or about a month before the Hamas attack on Israel from Gaza, so it can't be a video of a "Hamas terrorist" with a kidnapped Jewish baby girl.
On social media, Masalma explained some of the details surrounding his video and why it was removed from TikTok. In a post and video (archived here) published to his Instagram account on October 9, 2023, he said:
Peace be upon you guys, I had a misunderstanding yesterday because of this video, thinking that I am a terrorist, and this girl is Israeli, the girl is Arab, and the video is spontaneous, and the video was filmed in Hebron a month ago, not currently, and the video was already trending. There was a misunderstanding, and I had an attack on Instagram and Tiktok, a major Israeli attack, and my account was deleted. On Tiktok, all this is due to the understanding that the video is old. I wanted to make this clear, and I hope you reach this point. Peace be upon you
This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Oct 10 16:43:47 2023 UTC)
Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to the 2023 Israel-Hamas conflict can be found here.