Partly False Information Disseminated About Children Who Died During the Israel-Hamas War

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Reading Time: 4 minutes


On October 11-12, 2023, Georgian-language Facebook accounts (1, 2, 3, 4) shared a photo collage, which, according to their information, depicts Palestinian children who died in the last 24 hours.

Partly false information is being disseminated about the children who died during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, the photo collage depicts, children and teenagers who died not in 2023, but in 2021, during 11 days – some of them were living in Israel and victims of the Hamas attack. Also, one of the photos shows a 17-year-old boy who was a member of the Mujahideen group.

On May 28, 2021, The New York Times published a cover photo of what it said were minors and teenagers killed amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The collage featured the inscription – “They were only children.” According to the attached text, at least 67 people under the age of 18 were killed during the May conflict. “They said their children had wanted to be doctors, artists and leaders.” – wrote the New York Times.  

“They were only children”. NYT Cover

The distributed collage contains photos of children killed not only in Palestine but also in Israel. For example, the 5-year-old boy who died in the Israeli city of Sderot during the bombing by Hamas and the 16-year-old girl who died in the village of Dahmash, who ran to shelter with her father when the sirens sounded, but the bomb fell near their house and killed them both.

Photo: NYT


In addition, according to the article, at least 2 children were killed in the Gaza Strip when a rocket fired at Israel fell at a short distance.

 The NYT cover drew criticism. The publication was criticized, among other things, for its content and for covering the context. Criticisms were made that the article talks about the dreams and desires of children, but specific stories are discussed separately from the whole picture: for example, the article talks about the dead Palestinian children, but does not talk at length about how the terrorist organization Hamas uses “human shields.”

Hamas has been repeatedly accused of using children as “human shields” in the conflict. For example, at the UN General Assembly in 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a photograph showing Palestinian children playing near a rocket launcher. According to Netanyahu, Hamas deliberately placed the rockets in an area where children lived and played.

Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: NYP

In addition, the collage uses a photo of a 17-year-old boy, after whose death the Mujahideen group reported that he was one of their members. According to them, the boy died in the “Battle of Jerusalem”; however, they did not explain whether he fought or not. In 2018, the mentioned Mujahideen group was included in the US blacklist, according to which they finance terrorist groups. The information that Khaled al-Qanou was a member of the Mujahideen group was confirmed by his family; however, according to their own reports, the 17-year-old joined the group after being pressured, offered money and access to weapons. According to the family, they opposed the decision, and after the death, the Mujahideen were not allowed to enter the funeral tent..  

Khaled al-Qanou. Photo: NYT

About the Sources

The Facebook account “Nacnobi Upnobi” aka “Fantina,” together with her other accounts (1,2,3), constantly publishes false information and conspiracies. “Myth Detector” has debunked the false information spread by the user many times in the past.

Facebook user Sandro Lobzhanidze has also spread false information in the past. His posts have been debunked by “Myth Detector” several times in the past.

Conspiracy theories, fake news, and anti-vax content are also spread by the anonymous account True Friend. Some of his posts have been flagged as false content by fact-checking organizations.

Facebook user Daviti Tavarkiladze‘s posts have also been labeled as false. The user mainly spreads anti-Western and anti-opposition content, including fake information on various topics.

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Country: Israel, Palestine

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