Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Israeli Hostages Reciting Verses From The Quran After Being Released By Hamas

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Israeli Hostages Reciting Verses From The Quran After Being Released By Hamas TT Activist

Does this video display Israeli hostages released by Hamas reciting verses from the Quran? No, that's not true. The woman featured in the video, along with a child, is not an Israeli hostage released by Hamas. She is a TikToker who has been engaged in pro-Palestinian activism on social media since the onset of the current Hamas-Israel conflict.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published on TikTok by @yacine.sandeli on November 28, 2023. The video features a text overlay in Arabic, translated into English by Lead Stories staff, which reads:

A big shock for Netanyahu: Released hostages fluently reciting the Quran, Surah An-Nasr. It seems Islam is about to enter Israel soon.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-28 at 14.50.08.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Nov 28 13:49:25 2023 UTC)

The claim on TikTok was widely shared following Israel's hostage deal with Hamas in November 2023, such as here, here, and here.

Among several trending videos sharing the same content that Lead Stories could identify, all except one (archived here) included laughing emojis accompanying the video. The outlier showcased the watermark of a TikTok account, @erliz1617, concealed by emojis in the other videos. Lead Stories identified the TikTok account that originally published the video.

This is what the TikTok account looked like at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-29 at 09.51.15.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Nov 29 08:51:15 2023 UTC)

@erliz1617 shared the video (archived here) on November 22, 2023, featuring her recitation of verses from Surah An-Nasr from the Quran alongside a child, accompanied by the following hashtags:

#freepalastine🇵🇸❤️ #inshallahpalestinewillbefree#freepalastine🇵🇸❤️ #ceasfirenow🇵🇸 #germany

This was before the first round of hostages were released by Hamas on November 24, 2023, - including 13 Israelis - on the first day of the ceasefire, as part of a deal struck between Israel and Hamas.

The TikTok account @erliz1617 has been posting videos since August 16, 2023, and the TikToker published a video (archived here) also reciting verses from the Quran on September 2, 2023, predating the onset of the current Hamas-Israel conflict on October 7, 2023.

  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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