Israeli troops have made sweeping arrests and detained hundreds of people in the occupied West Bank since Hamas militants stormed into Israel and killed at least 1,400 people. A video with more than a million views on social media was posted with a claim that it shows “Israeli soldiers” arresting a three-year-old Palestinian boy. The context is misleading: while the footage indeed shows the detention of a Palestinian child, the incident occurred in 2018.
American political commentator Jackson Hinkle posted a 32-second video on X (formerly Twitter) on October 24, 2023 showing two armed men in uniform seizing a crying toddler.
A few seconds into the clip, a man and a boy in civilian clothes attempt to free the child from the officers. Someone speaking Arabic asks another person to film the incident.
“Israeli IOF forces arrest a three-year-old Palestinian child (sic)!” Hinkle wrote on X. The video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.
However, the video, while authentic, is old and unrelated to the current Israel-Gaza war.
Incident from 2018Using the video verification tool InVID We Verify, we conducted reverse image searches on multiple keyframes and found the video on a Palestinian news website and the Middle East Monitor, both published in March 2018 (archived here and here).
“A 3-year-old Palestinian Boy Detained by Israeli Soldiers in Hebron,” reads one of the headlines.
Israeli news outlet Haaretz also published the video on March 28, 2018.
According to the reports, the border police briefly detained the three-year-old boy in Hebron, a Palestinian city in the southern West Bank, for allegedly throwing stones.
“The Border Police said the incident was a 'deliberate provocation',” reads a section of the Haaretz article that is behind a paywall.
The Israeli army has confirmed that "over 1,030 wanted suspects have been apprehended" in the West Bank, "700 of whom are affiliated with the Hamas terrorist organisation” since October 7, 2023 when Hamas militants crossed into Israel and set off the latest conflict with their bloody rampage (archived report).
Israel occupied the West Bank during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and its forces regularly carry out raids on Palestinian militants there. Jewish settlements in the West Bank that are considered illegal under international law are home to 490,000 Israelis (archived here).
AFP Fact Check continues to debunk claims relating to the Israel-Hamas war.