My friend Ari stumbled upon a fundraiser for a young girl from Gaza named Noor. But Noor from Gaza does not exist, except as a character in a Pallywood production.
A Twitter account called Free Gaza Team inexplicably followed me on the social media platform. I took a look at the account and saw multiple graphic photos of a young girl whose arm had been sheared off. The injury appears raw, exposing bone and tissue. The account referred to the Girl as “Noor from Gaza” and provides a link to an online crowd funding site called Social.fund. Once at the site, the viewer is again exposed to the disturbing image as well as the following brief narrative;
Free Gaza Team visits people in Gaza to help people get their needs, some days ago, we visit Noor’s family, after the mother invited us to visit them, we find this little beauty girl, but unfortunately, she is without left limb, it’s due a shrapnel of Israeli rockets in the last war on Gaza, shee [Sic] needs some essential medications before the gangrene happens then we will help her to get an artificial limb, we should work together to restore her smile.
Free Gaza Team.”
Aside from the atrocious grammar and spelling, the entire storyline seemed suspicious. If the incident had indeed occurred as reported by the Free Gaza Team, it would have been plastered in the front pages of the New York Times, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera as these publications are notoriously anti-Israel.
I then proceeded to perform a Google image search and Voilà, Noor’s image magically appeared. Unfortunately, this Noor wasn’t injured by Israeli rockets. In fact, she wasn’t even from Gaza. The girl advertised by the Free Gaza Team was in fact a Syrian child from Deir ez-Zor, injured as a result of airstrikes. The images of Noor had been circulating on social media for more than a year. When I pointed this out to the Free Gaza Team, they quite predictably unfollowed and blocked me. I immediately reported the scam to the Social Fund, which responded positively to my complaint and promptly terminated Free Gaza Team’s donation drive. Having been deprived of the Social Fund platform, the fraudsters of the Free Gaza Team opened another “charity drive” for “Noor,” this time on PayPal. I have since filed a complaint with PayPal as well.
The fraudsters also seem to have set up another fundraising drive on the Fundrazr platform, but have not raised any money; the campaign is “paused” and the message “Sorry, we’re not currently accepting contributions” currently appears at the top of the page. Whether that is voluntary or based on knowledge of this being a fraud remains to be seen, but I have reported the campaign in any event.
So there you have it. Yet another libel from the haters with bonus attempt to defraud people out of money.
Yet I am not surprised. Because, evil people.