The Palestinian Delegation to the UN in Geneva presented an exhibit of the faces of children they claim have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza. Of the faces presented, one stood out as immediately false – as it depicted the face of 5-year-old Ido Avigal, an Israeli child killed by Hamas rocket fire in Sderot in 2021.
The exhibition was erected as part of an “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” event hosted Wednesday by UN Geneva at the Palais des Nations.
Israel’s representatives to the UN in Geneva expressed disgust and called for Tatiana Valovaya, its director general, to remove the exhibition, citing inaccuracies and the spread of misinformation and propaganda at the hands of the UN and the Palestinian Delegation.
This is Israeli kid Ido Avigal. He was 5 years old when he was killed in 2021, in his house in Sderot, during a major Hamas rockets barrage.Hamas killed Ido.But today, the Palestinian Delegation presented an exhibition @UNGeneva, which included Ido as a Palestinian child… pic.twitter.com/GZ0tK9X09D
— Israel in UN/Geneva | #BringThemHome (@IsraelinGeneva) November 29, 2023
Ido Avigal was killed in May 2021 when a rocket shard penetrated the window of the safe room in the family’s Sderot home. His mother Shani, 7-year-old sister and five members of the extended family were injured in the attack, including his six-year-old cousin.
Ido’s face has been used before
Between photos of Israeli child victims being used in Palestinian propaganda and the rise of AI generated images, issues like this continue to rise. This was not the first instance of its kind.
In September, Hadash-Ta’al MK Ahmad Tibi sparked outrage after claiming that an Israeli child killed by Hamas rocket fire was actually killed by the IDF.
Earlier in the day, Israeli journalist Yehuda Schlesinger posted on X, formerly Twitter, that “The IDF does not blow up homes with children.” In response, Tibi posted three messages of children and babies and wrote “Except for when it does.”
Ido Avigal was one of the children depicted by Tibi.
Though he was killed by Hamas during the Operation Guardian of the Walls conflict between the IDF and the Gaza-based terrorist group, Ido’s photo was in the center of the spread of children’s faces.
Several politicians weighed in, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who called him “Ahmad Tibi the terrorist,” on X. “How are you not ashamed to use the photo of a pure Jewish boy who was murdered by your friends from Hamas? It is an embarrassment that you are part of the Knesset.” Soon after, Tibi edited the post and removed the photo, adding his own statement.
חוץ מאלה שכן..( מחקתי את התמונה הראשונה מתוך כבוד לבקשת אמא שכולה , אמו של עידו ז״ל שהזכרתי אותו כמה פעמים בשנים האחרונות.)ילד הוא ילד הוא ילד . הרג ילדים הוא נורא . פלסטינים וישראלים. זה עדיין לא משנה את העובדה שהצבא ירה והרג מאות ילדים פלסטינים בשנים האחרונות. יש טייסת קרב… https://t.co/rtqAvRcWmN pic.twitter.com/EFunobED8I
— Ahmad Tibi (@Ahmad_tibi) September 19, 2023
“A child is a child is a child,” he wrote. “Killing children is terrible. Palestinians and Israelis. This still doesn’t change the fact that the army has killed hundreds of Palestinian children in recent years.”