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Video of father and daughter laughing is not from Gaza

Video from 2020 Syria war resurfaced with misleading caption

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Claim: A video claims to show a father and daughter laughing together to cope with the recent bombing in Gaza.

Fact: The claim is false as the video is not from Gaza. It predates the attack and is actually from the 2020 war in the Idlib area of Syria.

On 15 October 2023, an Instagram account, PTI Tigers Official shared a video (archived) with an Urdu caption,
ایک فلسطینی باپ اپنی بیٹی سے کہہ رہا ہے ، بیٹی یہ جو آواز آ رہی ہے یہ کھلونے کی آواز ہے۔ تم بھی خوب ہنسو اور میں بھی ہنستا ہوں

Translated [A Palestinian father is saying to his daughter, “Daughter, this sound is the sound of a toy.” You laugh a lot and I laugh too.]

In the Arabic-language video, the sound of a missile can be heard as a father asks his daughter what the sound is, to which she responds with a laugh, saying it is a bomb. The video claims to show a Palestinian father helping his daughter cope with the Israeli bombardment on Gaza.

What’s going on in Gaza?

On 7 October 2023, the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, launched a “surprise attack” on Israel via sea, land, and air. In response, the Israeli government formally declared war on Hamas on 8 October 2023.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 14,800 Palestinians have been killed and over 36,000 injured since the 7 October attack. Similarly, at least 1,200 Israelis have been killed and upwards of 5,400 injured. As per the latest updates, a four-day humanitarian pause between the Israeli army and Hamas came into effect on 24 November morning in all areas of the Gaza Strip, temporarily stopping attacks in exchange for the release of hostages, prisoners and aid.

Fact or Fiction?

A reverse image search of the keyframes in the video turned up several media reports from February 2020, all of which reveal that the video is from Syria.

TRT World published a video interview of the father-daughter duo on 19 February 2020 which describes that the three-year-old Salwa, who lives in Idlib, Syria, was taught to laugh when bombs fell around them. Her father adds that he came up with the game to help his daughter remain calm during the war. The interview also features the clip which went viral on the internet.

According to an  AP News article, published on 19 February 2020, “Mohammed and his daughter, 3-year-old Salwa, became overnight celebrities after a video they shot was shared widely on social media — a reminder of the horrors faced by children in Syria.”  He came up with the game to help his daughter cope with the fear and recorded their laughter so that his daughter would remain calm after hearing the jets or artillery shells.

A photo of the father-daughter duo from Syria, dated 19 February 2020, was also featured on Getty Images.

Virality

The video was falsely linked to the recent Israel-Gaza war here, here, here, and here on Facebook.

On X (formerly Twitter), the archived versions of the video can be seen here, here, and here.

Conclusion: A video showing a father and a daughter laughing together at the sound of bombs is not from Palestine. It is actually from the 2020 war in Syria.

 

 

Background image in cover photo: 

 

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

 

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