A photo depicting Saleh Aljafarawi, aka Mr. FAFO / Mr. Pallywood.

Saleh Aljafarawi / Mr. FAFO / Mr. Pallywood

Part of a series on 2023-2024 Hamas-Israel Conflict. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 08, 2023 at 02:51PM EST by Zach.

Added Nov 06, 2023 at 04:10PM EST by Phillip Hamilton.

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Overview

Saleh Aljafarawi, also known among some by the nicknames Mr. FAFO and Mr. Pallywood, is a Palestinian musician and amateur journalist who went viral in October 2023 for his videos documenting the ongoing 2023 Hamas-Israel Conflict from a Palestinian perspective. That month, Aljafarawi became the subject of crisis actor conspiracy theories when a video of 16-year-old Mohammed Zendiq being treated in the hospital after having his leg amputated due to conflict-related injuries was reportedly mistaken to be Aljafarawi, inspiring claims that Aljafarawi was a "Pallywood" crisis actor attempting to sow disdain for Israel.

History

Saleh Aljafarawi is a Palestinian musician and content creator located in Gaza. He began posting his music content to YouTube[1] on May 19th, 2020 (first upload seen below).



On October 22nd, 2023, he began using his Instagram[2] page to document the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, subsequently drawing in numerous viewers following the war. Many of his videos document what appears to be injured and dead Palestinian children and citizens, including videos of himself and others attempting to help them. He also documents the destruction caused to Gaza by the war (examples shown below). His earliest upload shows him praising Allah while purportedly filming contrails of rockets fired in retaliation toward Israel.



On October 25th, Aljafarawi posted a video to Instagram[3] wandering through a destroyed area of Gaza, captioned, "Oh God!! For the first time in my life I witnessed a crime like this!! More than 30 missiles landed in front of my eyes, and an entire area was wiped out!! ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”," garnering over 2,400 likes in two weeks (shown below).



Online Presence

Pallywood Conspiracy Theory

On August 16th and 18th, 2023, TikTokers[4][5] @esam_zandek and @hamodahmdan1 posted videos of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Zendiq following a leg amputation after Israel invaded the Nur Shams Camp (shown below). On August 25th, the International Solidarity Movement published an article, which purportedly confirmed the boy's identity.[15]

@esam_zandek #ูŠูˆูƒูŠโœจ #ู…ุฎูŠู…_ู†ูˆุฑ_ุดู…ุณ #ู„ุง_ุงู„ู‡_ุงู„ุง_ุงู„ู„ู‡_ู…ุญู…ุฏ_ุฑุณูˆู„_ุงู„ู„ู‡ โ™ฌ ุงู„ุตูˆุช ุงู„ุฃุตู„ูŠ โ€“ ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ“ฟโ”‡ ๐’ฎ๐’ถ๐“โ„ฏโ„ฏ๐“‚ ๐’ถ๐“ƒโ„ฏ๐“ˆ

@hamodahmdan1 #CapCut #ูŠูˆูƒูŠโœจ #ุงุจูˆุดุฌุงุน๐Ÿ’šโœŒ๐Ÿพ #ู…ุฎูŠู…_ู†ูˆุฑ_ุดู…ุณ_โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ’š #ุฏุญุฑูˆูƒูŠ๐Ÿ–คโœŒ๏ธ #ุนุตูˆู… #ุงู„ุดู‡ูŠุฏุณูŠู_ุงุจูˆ_ู„ุจุฏู‡โœŒ๏ธ โ™ฌ ุขูŠุงุช ุงู„ุดูุงุก โ€“ ุงุจุฑุงู‡ูŠู… ู„ุดูƒุฑ

On October 25th, internet personality Oli London then posted one of the videos of Zendiq to X,[6] claiming that the video (seen below) shows Saleh Aljafarawi "acting" injured, writing, "Hamas Crisis Actor pretends to be a victim of an Israeli air strike- appearing in a hospital bed while pretending to be in a critical condition as two supporting actors hold his hand."


London shared several other purported videos of Aljafarawi, including a video of him celebrating Hamas attacking Israel side-by-side with a video of him crying about Israel attacking Palestine, as supposed evidence, writing, "He has appeared in another video running through the streets while hysterical and filming the various sites of air strikes. This is despite him previously posting a video pretending to be in a critical condition in a hospital bed." The post gained over 33,000 likes in two weeks (shown below).


The claims by London were notably debunked by numerous media outlets, including AP[7] and Reuters,[8] over the following days.

The conspiracy theories continued to spread online throughout October 2023 as believers in the theory, which link Aljafarawi to the larger Pallywood conspiracy theory that claims Palestine uses crisis actors to garner support,[10] inspiring believers to post further purported evidence that Aljafarawi's videos are fake and feature crisis actors. Online, he is often referred to as "Mr. FAFO" (slang for "F--- Around and Find Out") or "Mr. Pallywood" by believers in the conspiracy theory.

On November 3rd, 2023, X[11] user @MattBinder posted a video of a German news outlet purportedly supporting the theory. On November 5th, a meme was posted to the /r/conspiracy[12] subreddit claiming to show Aljafarawi in various "roles" as a crisis actor for the Palestinian government, garnering over 1,600 upvotes in a day (shown below). It is unconfirmed that these men are all Aljafarawi.


Freedom Fighter Blood Donor Resilient Patient American Idol Revived Corpse War Correspondent Radiology Tech Foster Father PISS BOUMBASSPHOTOSHOP Tour Guide

On November 6th, the official @Israel X[13] account made a post claiming that Aljafarawi is a crisis actor, garnering over 6,200 likes in under 24 hours (shown below). On the same day, X[14] user @DrEliDavid posted an image of a man who he claims to be Aljafarawi getting married, writing, "Congratulations to #MrFAFO for getting married ๐Ÿ˜," suggesting this is more evidence of him being a crisis actor, garnering over 4,700 likes in under a day.


ื™ืฉืจืืœ Israel @Israel - 4h (Thread) The devil works hard but Gaza's "film" industry works harder. Meet Saleh Aljafarawi, Hamas presenter, father, patient, singer, journalist and crisis actor. He's just one example of how Hamas is using social media to spread misinformation and shape false narratives... Show more II 0:32 1.7K 2.1K 6.5K 0:30 ili 412K ๅฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ Israel @Israel This "Hamas crisis actor" has become notorious for miraculously appearing in multiple Hamas propaganda videos in different roles and locations across the Gaza Strip. Individuals across social media are calling Saleh "the man with more lives than a cat". Freedom Fighter Blood Donor American Idol Radiology Tech 11:39 AM - Nov 6, 2023 - 43.6K Views @DUMBASSPHOTOSHOP @nighberg Foster Father Tour Guide ... ื™ืฉืจืืœ Israel @Israel - 4h Unfortunately, some journalists are still falling for Hamas crisis actors like Saleh. Take for example the @BBC which recently aired footage from his account. 302 1 283 1.2K ilโ‚221K ๅฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ Israel @Israel Based on what we've seen from Saleh we can expect to see him in many more roles in the future. And there are dozens more videos like his online. Bottom line: pay attention to the media sources you are consuming online. 11:39 AM - Nov 6, 2023 - 54.7K Views PRESS

Support For Aljafarawi

While some, particularly conspiracy theorists, have denounced Saleh Aljafarawi online, others have also voiced their support for him and his content. For example, on October 29th, 2023, X[9] user @wqndfilms posted a video celebrating Aljafarawi's documentation of the conflict, writing, "the journalist is Saleh Aljafarawi. Thanks to him we found out that 3 of my cousins (who we assumed dead) are alive and at the hospital. Hes been going around hospitals reporting it as it is. I havent seen a lot of people talk about him when hes behind a lot of the videos," garnering over 126,000 likes in a week (shown below).


Search Interest

External References

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