Is Hamas keeping Jewish children it kidnapped from Israel in cages in Gaza?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Updated @ 2023-10-11 : Added details of Israeli Foreign Minister’s confirmation
Originally posted @ 2023-10-10
Claim : Jewish Children Held Hostage In Cages By Hamas!
Many people are sharing pictures and/or a video showing five children inside cages, claiming that they were being held hostage by Hamas after being kidnapped in its October 2023 attack on Israel.
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Truth : Hamas Did Not Keep Those Children In Cages!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), and here are reasons why…
Fact #1 : The Video Was Recorded Many Years Ago
First, I should point out that one example of this viral video can be found on YouTube (archive link) since 27 January 2020. It received little attention when it was released more than 3 years ago, garnering less than 60 views. Oddly enough, YouTube appears to have taken it down recently “for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines”.
Several commentators (example) have also claimed that this video was originally recorded in 2015. What is certain is that – this video is at least several years old, and is therefore not related to the 7 October 2023 attack by Hamas on Israel.
The video was then posted by @user690306825181 (account now removed) on TikTok, where it went viral and was reposted to WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
Fact #2 : TikTok Video Was Posted Before Hamas Attack
The TikTok video itself was actually posted on 4 October 2023 – three days BEFORE the 7 October attack by Hamas on Israel. Here’s the evidence that Fake Reporter on X found.
The TikTok video was not only posted three days earlier – on 4 October, it was being promoted on TikTok. The video therefore has absolutely nothing to do with the Hamas attack on Israel.
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Fact #3 : The Video Does Not Show Jewish / Israeli Children
According to the YouTube channel – Palestine News, the video was recorded by B’Tselem – an Israeli NGO that documents human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
Palestine News claimed that the video showed Palestinian children locked in cages by the Israeli army, and was filmed in Hebron. Hebron, incidentally, is located in the West Bank, and not in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
On the other hand, other commentators (example) claimed that the video was recorded by a father who found his children playing in the chicken coop, and locked them up for a laugh. The man, who appeared to be the person recording the video, can be heard laughing heartily in the background.
The laugh seems jovial, and the children do not seem particularly upset. One boy even appears to be smiling. Another commentator said that the guy was saying, “You guys gave me a hard time“, and “Don’t bite me“. That would give some credence to the claim that this was a fun video recorded by a father.
Unfortunately, I cannot confirm (at the moment) whether this video shows Palestinian children being held captive by Israeli soldiers, or Syrian children locked in a cage by their father. The B’Tselem website, for example, has way too many references to children in cages, and I cannot locate the original video allegedly posted by the Syrian father.
However, what seems certain is that these are not Jewish or Israeli children held captive by Hamas, as a result of their 7 October 2023 raid of Israel. After all – this video was recorded and posted before the 7 October 2023 attack by Hamas.
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Fact #4 : Israel Foreign Minister Appeared To Confirm This
What arguably made this video go viral is the fact that some Jewish news media published reports that Israel Foreign Minister Eli Cohen confirmed that the video of Israeli children being held in cages in Gaza was genuine.
Cohen appeared to have made those comments during a live-streamed press conference. But it appears that it was a mistake, and some of those articles have removed references to the video, or Cohen’s claim.
For more details, you can read our separate fact check : Israel FM Eli Cohen Confirm Hamas Put Children In Cages?!
Fact #5 : This Is Just Misinformation
Ultimately, this is just another example of misinformation circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), using misappropriated videos.
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