FACT CHECK: Viral Video Of Man Confronting Israeli Soldiers Is Not ‘Palestinian Theater’

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A viral video shared on Instagram claims a moment where a man can be seen yelling at Israeli soldiers is “Palestinian theater.”

Verdict: False

The video is not “Palestinian theater” but an actual incident from 2015 showing Ziyad Abu Haleel confronting Israeli soldiers amid clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces in Hebron.

Fact Check:

The Israeli military has recovered the bodies of three hostages who were kidnapped at the start of the current Israel-Hamas conflict, according to The New York Times. Two of the hostages were soldiers, and the third hostage was a civilian, the outlet reported.

“Gaza: Where actors always have roles,” text overlay on the Instagram video reads, followed by the phrase, “The Palestinian Theater.” In the video, viewed over 3,000 times, a man can be seen yelling at Israeli soldiers.

The video is not “Palestinian theater,” however. The video shows an actual 2015 incident in which Haleel, a 65-year-old Palestinian man, confronted Israeli soldiers amid clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces in Hebron, according to a video from the U.K.-based Channel 4 News.

“How do you fire your weapons on kids? That’s not okay. Take your soldiers from here. Do not fire your weapons,” Haleel can be heard shouting at the soldiers in the video, which has been shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

Likewise, the International Business Times also reported on the 2015 incident, indicating Haleel collapsed after he had confronted the Israeli soldiers. According to the outlet, a group of journalists aided Haleel, who was taken to the hospital and later released after sustaining minor bruises as a result of his fall.

In addition, Check Your Fact did not find the viral Instagram video referenced in any recent credible news reports about the current Israel-Hamas conflict.

Multiple claims about incidents involving crisis actors have been debunked by outlets, including Reuters and The Associated Press, since the current conflict erupted on Oct. 7. (RELATED: No, Israel Did Not Admit To Killing All 364 Israelis At The Nova Music Festival)

Check Your Fact has contacted the Israel Defense Forces for comment on the video and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter