Post Makes Unfounded Claim About Doctors Without Borders Worker

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Quick Take

Doctors Without Borders has been working in the West Bank since fighting intensified between the Israelis and Palestinians after Oct. 7. But a video post on social media misleadingly claims it shows an aid worker from that organization passing a gun to a Palestinian fighter. The worker is wearing a vest used by the Palestinian Medical Relief Society.


Full Story

Amid a tenuous truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, some fighting between Israelis and Palestinians has continued in the West Bank. Misinformation about that area is spreading on social media.

A video that appears to show a person wearing a Palestinian Medical Relief Society vest who — under fire — transfers a gun from one fighter to another in the West Bank city of Jenin has been mislabeled as showing a worker from the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders.

The video was shared on Instagram by former model and Israeli celebrity Nataly Dadon on Nov. 9. A label on the video says, “Doctors Without Borders,” and in her post Dadon claims that the aid worker is affiliated with the group, which has a policy of neutrality in conflict zones.

“In this video taken today in Jenin, a medic from ‘Doctors without borders’ went to a terrorist who was shot by the IDF, lifted him up and took his weapon then brought it to another terrorist,” Dadon’s post reads. “Basically he abused his position as a medic, which the IDF cannot shoot, to break the law and assist terrorists to get a weapon.”

The same video has been shared on other social media platforms, but doesn’t include that label. Instead, it shows the Instagram handle for a Palestinian journalist named Obada Tahayna, whose Instagram account is no longer active. We reached out to him on Facebook for comment, but didn’t receive a response.

A person, left, appears to be wearing a Palestinian Medical Relief Society vest in a video posted by Israeli celebrity Nataly Dadon. The person on the right shown wearing a PMRS vest is from the organization’s Facebook page.

There’s nothing in the video itself that suggests anyone shown is related to Doctors Without Borders and, as we said, it appears that the vest the man is wearing is from the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, which was founded by Palestinian doctors and helps to provide health care in Gaza and the West Bank.

The fact-checking website Lead Stories wrote about Dadon’s video on Nov. 23 and was able to get the original video from Tahayna, the Palestinian journalist whose handle appears on many versions of the clip. Lead Stories posted that video on YouTube, where the vest and the PMRS logo are more clearly visible. It matches the orange vests worn by some PMRS aid workers.

Medics affiliated with Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, usually wear white vests that bear the organization’s red logo.

That said, both organizations have been operating in the West Bank and a video posted by Doctors Without Borders shows some aid workers in orange vests delivering patients to the hospital. But there’s nothing to suggest that the person in the video posted by Dadon is tied to Doctors Without Borders.

We reached out to Doctors Without Borders and to Dadon for comment, but didn’t hear back from either. Doctors Without Borders, however, told Lead Stories that its staff does not provide medical care in the streets of Jenin. It “supports the Emergency Room of the Ministry of Health Hospital and supports the Pre-hospital emergency,” the organization told the fact-checking site.


Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.

Sources

NBC News. “Truce extended by two days, Qatar says.” 28 Nov 2023.

Goldenberg, Tia and Majdi Mohammed. “Israeli forces kill at least 8 Palestinians in surging West Bank violence, health officials say.” Associated Press. 26 Nov 2023.

Doctors Without Borders. Who we are. Accessed 28 Nov 2023.

Palestinian Medical Relief Society. About. Accessed 27 Nov 2023.

Schenk, Maarten. “Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Doctors Without Borders Medic Picking Up Gun And Carrying It Away — Man Wears PMRC Vest.” Lead Stories. 23 Nov 2023.

Lead Stories (@LeadStories). “Jenin medic incident, November 9, 2023.” YouTube. 23 Nov 2023.

Palestinian Medical Relief Society. Photo post. Facebook. 24 Sep 2023.

Doctors Without Borders. “Airstrike in the West Bank: MSF teams respond.” 27 Oct 2023.

Doctors Without Borders (@doctorswithoutborders). “Airstrike in Jenin, West Bank: MSF Teams Respond.” YouTube. 27 Oct 2023.

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