Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Young Man Murdered By IDF In 2023 -- It's From 2015; Teen Survived

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Young Man Murdered By IDF In 2023 -- It's From 2015; Teen Survived Survived

Does a viral video show a Palestinian teenager killed by the Israel Defense Forces during the 2023 Hamas-Israel war? No, that's not true: The footage went viral in 2015. The events preceding the scene in the video were highly contested, but the video showing the 13-year-old bleeding on the ground captured his injuries, not his death. He was later convicted for his role in the attempted murder of another 13-year-old boy. As of this writing, there were no credible reports of his death.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on X, formerly known as Twitter, on December 19, 2023. It opened:

GRAPHIC: Israel slaughters an innocent child and then mocks him. #genocide *NSFW

This is what it looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-12-20 at 10.10.18 AM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Dec 20 15:10:18 2023 UTC)

The caption contained the acronym NSFW, which means "not safe for work." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is typically used to warn colleagues that a link or an attachment "is not suitable for viewing at most places of employment."

The post shared a 15-second clip capturing a teenager or a young man lying on a cobblestone street. His head is surrounded by what appears to be a pool of blood, and his leg is unnaturally bent over. Despite visible injuries, this person is seen moving, unsuccessfully trying to pull himself up.

During the final seconds of the video, viewers briefly see the legs of a uniformed man standing close to the injured youth and a fragment of a white car.

In the context of the 2023 Hamas-Israel war, the post could have been interpreted as a description of current events.

However, it not only predates the conflict but also shows a person who was reported to have been alive as of September 2023.

According to the reverse image search engine TinEye, the footage was first published on social media on October 13, 2015 -- for example, its traces could be found on the now-defunct (archived here) social media platform Google+:

Screen Shot 2023-12-20 at 10.13.28 AM.png

(Source: TinEye screenshot taken on Dec 20 15:13:28 2023 UTC)

Among those who shared the footage was a YouTube account with the handle @ministryofinformationpales2697 (archived here):

Screen Shot 2023-12-20 at 1.37.46 PM.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Wed Dec 20 18:37:46 2023 UTC)

An NBC article (archived here) published the next day contained a screenshot of the video posted on YouTube:

Screen Shot 2023-12-20 at 11.29.11 AM.png

(Source: NBC screenshot taken on Wed Dec 20 16:29:11 2023 UTC)

The clothing and the appearance of the cobblestone street matched those in the video on X.

NBC's caption of the screenshot named the person and the place where the footage was recorded:

Ahmed Manasrah, 13, was filmed after an incident in East Jerusalem on Monday.

According to Reuters (archived here), the original video was two minutes long, not 15 seconds. The news agency confirmed Manasrah's identity and age back in 2015 and added important details about the video:

It was taken on Monday, minutes after two Israelis, including a boy on a bicycle, were stabbed outside a nearby shop. Israeli police have accused Manasra and his 15-year-old cousin of carrying out the attacks. The family has denied they did it.

The footage shows police keeping passersby back while abuse is shouted. After a minute or so, an ambulance arrives, although it is not immediately clear if Manasra is treated. At one point he sits up, but the police tell him to lie back down and they can be seen checking him for explosives. No knife is visible.

It added:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders quickly expressed outrage, referring to the boy and his cousin as having been 'executed' by Israel 'in cold blood'.

However, the Reuters article contained photos of Manasrah in a hospital robe, which confirmed he survived. The images were released by the Israeli Government Press Office.

The 2015 Reuters material pointed out that there was a time gap between the moment the video went viral and the moment when the Israeli police released the CCTV footage of the stabbing (archived here.)

In 2016, Manasrah was sentenced to 12 years for his role in the attempted murder of a 13-year-old boy (the victim was critically injured but survived.) The sentence was later reduced to 9.5 years.

While reporting on the trial, the New York Times wrote (archived here) that Manasrah was "run over" by "a vehicle."

In 2022, AP reported (archived here) that Manasrah was still in prison -- alive but with serious mental health conditions. In mid-summer of that year, a parole board denied (archived here) his third request for an early release. A September 2023 article published by the Amnesty International (archived here) stated that Manasrah was sent to a mental health unit after a prolonged time in solitary confinement.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the 2023 Hamas-Israel war can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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