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Pallywood Child Exploitation: The 4-year-old Who Was (Not) Summoned for Interrogation

Pallywood Child Exploitation: The 4-year-old Who Was (Not) Summoned for Interrogation

The family of Mohammad Elayyan needlessly brought him to Israeli police in order to stage an anti-Israel photo op falsely claiming the child was summoned for interrogation.

Almost nothing is taboo for #Pallywood, the anti-Israel propaganda industry that creates false or misleading images, videos and narratives in order to portray Israelis as evil. Non-Palestinian western activists and international media are an important part of this propaganda campaign.

From faking injuries to using children as props, for decades, anti-Israel agitators have staged elaborate and horrifying scenes of Israeli brutality and Palestinian victimhood. Those scenes are then recorded and promoted around the world in an effort to frame Israel for human rights abuses— often exploiting especially vulnerable Palestinian children.

On August 4, 2019, Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch published an article in the Jerusalem Post pointing out that PLO founder Yasser Arafat himself used to:

brag about sending Palestinians, even children, to die to promote the PA’s nationalist agendas…even telling PA TV that child “martyrs” are the “greatest” PR: “The child who is holding the stone facing the tank: Isn’t it the greatest message to the world when that hero becomes a martyr?” With brazen cruelty, the PA was enticing its children to commit “heroic” suicide in order to rush to show the world dead Palestinian children, accuse Israel of war crimes, and balance the damage to Arafat’s image caused by his suicide bombers.

Arafat’s strategy has been the inspiration for and cornerstone of Pallywood (a phrase coined by Professor Richard Landes) theatrics, particularly involving children.

We’ve covered dozens of examples before, including the 2016 viral photograph shot by Palestinian videographer Hassan Dboos in which

A young child, maybe 3 years old, was photographed heroically confronting Israeli border police. It had all the hallmarks of a viral shot, tweeted by anti-Israel Twitter account Abbs Winston and retweeted by “Hamas Lawyer” Stanley Cohen and over 150 others.

But rather than a brave child confronting the Israelis, a video of the same scene shows a man, presumably the father, carrying the child toward the border police, pushing the child forward, and instructing him to throw rocks at the soldiers. The father is also heard yelling at the IDF soldiers to “shoot him and kill him!” in Arabic.

Then there’s the 2018 case of an 8-month-old Palestinian infant, Laila Anwar al-Ghandour.

As we wrote at the time, the claim that dominated headlines was that she

was killed by Israeli tear gas during “protests” at the Gaza-Israel border. Those “protests,” as we have documented, were Hamas-led military-style assaults under cover of civilian protests, and almost all of the people killed were Hamas or other terror group members.

Of course, had the story of the infant death by tear gas been true, the logical question would have been why parents would bring an infant to a scene they knew would be dangerous. But that question was lost in the media condemnation of Israel.

But as it turns out, little Layla had not been killed by Israel. Instead, she died from an unrelated blood disease, and Hamas paid her family $2,200 to lie to the press, and attribute her death to Israeli tear gas.

Then there’s the case of 13-year-old Janna Jihad. Currently on speaking tour, she is young member of the theatrical Tamimi family and has been carefully groomed to attack armed Israeli soldiers since she was 5 years old. As we’ve reported before

The Tamimis are used to sympathetic media coverage, including a fawning New York Times Magazine cover story in March 2013 on the family’s ambition to start a “Third Intifada.”

In a later post, we detailed how

The Tamimi Clan of Nabi Saleh and their Western supporters exploit children in order to obtain viral video and photographs.

The children are used to try to provoke Israeli Border Police and soldiers. If the provocation is successful, which it almost never is, they get a photo of an Israeli being brutal towards a child. In almost every case, though, there is no reaction from the soldiers, so the video and photos are spun as reflecting “brave” Palestinian children and the “weak” Israeli soldiers.

The Tamimis are experts at manipulating images and press coverage of these child demonstrators.

Still, American politicians including Betty McCollum and Rashida Tlaib recently rewarded this behavior by meeting with the latest Tamimi child propaganda project—Janna Jihad—personally.*F

[Janna Jihad interviews Rep. Rashida Tlaib, July 2019]

[Janna Jihad interviews Rep. Betty McCollum, July 2019.]

Pallywood’s Most Recent Production: Mohammad Elayyan

The most recent viral Pallywood production is the case of little Mohammad Elayyan, a 4-or-5-year-old resident of the Issawiya neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem.

On July 30, 2019, Mohammad’s father Rabiaa was summoned to the Salah Ed Din Street police station to answer to a report that his son had thrown stones at Israeli soldiers the day before. Unfortunately, even young children being used to throw stones is a tactic used.

But Rabiaa brought Mohammad (and multiple cameras) with him to the police, creating a false story that the Israeli police had actually summoned the toddler for questioning.

Indeed, Mohammad and his father were accompanied on their journey to the station by a small crowd of Issawiya villagers. Many took the opportunity to film and take photographs of Rabiaa holding his son’s hand on their walk, and there even seemed to be professional photographers taping the scene.

[Professional cameras follow little Mohammad Elayyan as he walks with his father to the Israeli police station. This clip made it into a video produced and posted by Al Jazeera.]

[A screenshot from the same video of Mohammad Elayyan’s journey to the police station, released by Al Jazeera. You can see this video here. Note the number of villagers, cameras, and professional recording equipment that surround the Israeli police officer. Rabiaa Elayyan is in the center in a red polo shirt.]Rabiaa took to the media to express his concern about the impact the police station visit had on Mohammad, apparently telling Al Jazeera that “his son was traumatised by the experience and was terrified by the sight of the police.”

The official Twitter account of Palestinian political party Fatah joined in, tweeting a sympathetic video of the toddler with a bag of snacks clutched in his hand. Meanwhile, the PLO condemned the international community’s “silence on Israel’s interrogation of a four-year-old.”

Naturally, Palestinian news outlets ran with the story, plastering photographs and clips of little Mohammad all over social media.

Quds News, for example, lost no time in compiling and spreading a video featuring photographs of Mohammad in front of the police station and elsewhere, and an interview with his father Rabiaa. The video claims that Israeli soldiers summoned Mohammad for trying to play with the soldiers he saw. It also features an interview with Rabiaa, who complained that

it is absurd to order me not to allow him to throw stones at the army…[Israel is] treating [Mohammad] as if he is the country’s most wanted man…what would a four-year-old think? What am I supposed to tell him? He hasn’t seen anything in life to understand such a situation.

The video goes on to claim that

“Israel” routinely arrests Palestinian children for the same pre-packaged charge of “stone throwing” to intimidate them and their families.

Furthermore, multiple news outlets even expressed doubt that Mohammad had actually thrown any stones at all, calling the accusation “alleged”, and insinuating that the Israeli police had targeted the family simply to oppress them as Palestinians.

This is the despite the fact that, in an interview with the (traditionally not-so-pro-Israel) publication, Middle East Eye, Rabiaa admitted that his small son had pelted the rocks at members of the Israeli Defense Forces. The MEE published this admission.

Speaking to MEE, Rabiaa Elayyan said Mohammad was near the family home on Monday when police approached the house, at which point his son threw stones at the officers.

The facts of the case show differently.

Beyond Rabiaa Elayyan’s admission that his son Mohammad had, in fact, thrown stones, the police summons shows that the son had not been requested at all. The summons was only directed at the father.

[The summons for Rabiaa, Mohammad’s father. You can see his name (and only his name) written in Hebrew in the top right corner of the page. Image via Twitter user Elhanan Gruner at @elchangr]

Indeed, Israeli law prevents children younger than 12 of being held liable for any criminal behavior, and so it was part of standard operating procedure that Rabiaa was summoned, rather than Mohammad.

The Times of Israel reported,

Despite the police’s Monday night insistence that it wasn’t interested in speaking with the boy — whom they asserted was 5, not 4 — the elder Ali’an brought his son with him to the local station. On the walk over, they were joined by dozens of activists and members of the media who filmed the march and shouted words of encouragement to the boy, even giving him bags of candy to hold.

An officer at the station met the group of Issawiya residents at the entrance and told them that he didn’t need the son, but rather just the father — so as to explain to him that “it doesn’t make sense for a 4- or 5-year-old boy to be throwing stones.”

In fact, the Palestinian organization, Wadi Hilweh Information Center posted a video of the police encounter at the station. The clips shows that the police bring only Rabiaa inside, not the boy.

The clip also shows that, like Rabiaa mentioned, little Mohammad was feeling upset by their journey. A few moments into the scene, we can see Mohammad begin to cry—only normal for a small child in an emotionally charged crowd, watching his father walk away from him. Moreover, Mohammad was likely feeling disappointed as well. Rabiaa had apparently told him they were going on a swimming trip, only to lead him inexplicably to the police.

But those facts of the case did not seem to matter to Western media and anti-Israel agitators. Though many expressed concern for Mohammad, none of them bothered to ask why a father might force his son to visit a police station unnecessarily if it was upsetting the child.

[Al Jazeera English journalist Lina Alsaafin spreads a Quds News video of Mohammad walking with his father.]

Instead, they used Mohammad to further advance their own narrative of Israeli “savagery.”

[Middle East Eye columnist and “activist against Islamophobia” CJ Werleman contributes to this Pallywood campaign.]

Once Western media figures began promoting the story in English, it quickly went viral—and anti-Israel detractors began using it as their newest excuse to push the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Adding their fuel to the fire was the so-called Jewish group, IfNotNow (INN).

[IfNotNow’s contribution to the newest Pallywood fabrication.]

Note: We have covered INN and its duplicitous behavior before. One of our recent reports highlighted INN leaders who tried to exclude LGBTQ+ Jews from the Washington, D.C. Dyke March. In that report, we also showed how INN claims to be a network of “young Jews”, but boosts its participation numbers with radical Islamists.

And though multiple people responded to INN’s Pallywood tweet, showing that the story is false, INN did not respond. Nor did it issue a correction.

After Mohammad’s story went viral, the Israeli police responded (emphasis added):

Contrary to the claim, because the minor was under the age of criminal culpability the police who arrived at the scene served a summons to the father only to come for a discussion at the police station in order to warn him about and clarify with him the actions of his son. To our sorrow, this is a part of a serious and dangerous phenomenon in the area whereby small children are used for throwing rocks at security forces, some of [these cases] occur alongside and under the supervision of adults and family members standing near them, and such was the case in this incident.

The police are absolutely correct.

Muhammad Elayyan is just the latest Palestinian child exploited by the Palestinian propaganda machine, and its western media helpers.


Samantha Mandeles is Senior Researcher and Outreach Director at the Legal Insurrection Foundation.


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The corporate media in all countries has reached Joseph Goebbels-level evil. The number of journalists who are not anti Semitic genocidal maniacs can literally be counted using the fingers of one hand.

    Jew-hating, Israel-vilifying Arab Muslims and their dhimmi-collaborator allies on the Left know that if they repeat slanderous and despicable lies about Israelis being alleged “colonial” “occupiers” and “racists” who are committing “war crimes,” that people will start to believe these lies. Repetition ad nauseam eventually obtains the imprimatur and gloss of truth, with the aid of a biased and water-carrying Mainstream Media that is happy to perpetuate anti-Israel Arab propaganda talking points.

    It takes a truly warped and intellectually-stunted mind to believe the lie that the members of the world’s smallest and most historically-persecuted major religious sect are oppressing members of one of the largest (and, the most perpetually belligerent and intolerant) sects, merely because the former resist the latter’s fanatical fealty to the precepts of genocidal “holy war,” and, their genocidal aspirations against non-Muslims.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | August 6, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    There should be lawsuits against all media in all countries that repeat those lies.

Incidents like this are just another chance to remind the world that Palestine is a totally illegitimate myth that is promoted solely to spearhead the destruction of Israel. Debunking all the twisted lies in this story is fine but it’s better to also be on the attack.

The reason our MSM goes along with all this is that they are madly taking notes on how to improve their own fake news tactics.

The sick Palestinian narrative.

Sicker still is that people look the other way and excuse the nonsense of Palestinians, and the tendency to violence as a means to political ends. Too busy lecturing about morality to notice they are duped or the effects of their support for Jew haters.

BerettaTomcat | August 5, 2019 at 10:33 pm

Low IQ desert tribalists abusing a child.

Leftists and Palestinians belong together. Both groups always lie.

Last week there was a segment on NPR from a palestinian apologist where EVERYTHING out of his mouth was unchallenged double speak. Some of the worst included “West Bank, Gaza, and other parts of palestine”. What other part are there? And accusing a low level local Israeli politician of supporting conversion therapy, obviously emphasizing the vast LGBT rights in Gaza such as a quick death from only being thrown from a building rather than also being tortured first.

    Why are tax dollars still funding NPR?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I am (among other things) a professional translator from Hebrew to English. Here is my translation of the notice:

To: Rabiaa Elayyan Date: 7/29/19
Case No. ____________

You are requested to come to our office on 7/30/19, at the Salah-ad-Din police station

Exact address

On 7/30/19 at 7:50 AM
Regarding: Because of stones thrown in the direction of the patrol vehicle, by your son, a minor aged about ___
and to bring with you: Your ID Card
Please ask for [name of policeman], Room No._____, Floor 1

If this time is not convenient for you, please call the following number__________ and ask for the undersigned or for Coordinator _____________ to set a different time.


Name: [name of policeman]
Personal No: 1209196
Rank: First Sergeant Major
Signature: [signature]

As you can see, the only thing he is asked to bring with him is his ID card, not his son. Also note that if the time is inconvenient he is invited to arrange a different time (though the phone number he should call is missing).

If some five-year-old were throwing rocks at people on any street in the USA, you can bet the police would ask the parents to come in. At a minimum.

The entire cult is based upon lies, falsification and ignorance. It is death cult…..embraced by the Democrats for reasons beyond me.

Paul In Sweden | August 6, 2019 at 6:41 am

When I get annoyed at pro-terrorist Palestinian posts I often just dump a bunch of Pallywood videos in retort.

Pallywood dress rehearsal watch children and smiling Arab adults having makeup applied to simulate wounds prior to filming in front of waiting conspiring western foreign media
(30 second video)
–Pallywood – YouTube

Palestinians lying and using their kids as props? I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

I still remember the infamous al-Durrah incident.

Israeli army raided his house last night in attempt to detain him (again, a 3yr old) but family stopped them
Yeah, right. If the Israelis had raided his house, does anyone with more than two brain cells believe they would have been stopped?

They came and served a summons – happens everyday in America – and then left. They knocked, he answered, they handed him a piece of paper, then they left.

Why is it that it seems all Palestinians lie all the time? Perhaps because their very existence (that is, that Palestinians are some indigenous people, a tribe unto themselves) is a lie, from the beginning?

I’ve never understood the worldwide bigotry toward Jews. With most other bigotry, there is at least an element of societal detriment directly caused by the existence of the prejudiced group. Jews do a bit of their own counter-culture thing, sure, but they improve everything they touch. Oh, duh, that’s the reason!