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No, South African travel influencer posted video condemning Rafah bombing – not US actor with same name

IN SHORT: This viral video of a woman condemning Israel’s airstrike on Rafah on 26 May 2024 shows a South African called Candice King, not the US actor with whom she shares a name.

On the night of 26 May 2024 an Israeli airstrike on a tent camp in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah claimed the lives of at least 46 people, half of them women, children and older people.

More than a million refugees have fled to Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, to escape Israel’s invasion. The bombing was in a part of the city Israeli authorities had designated a “safe zone” for civilians.

Israel’s war on Gaza began after the militant Palestinian group Hamas attacked Israel from Gaza on 7 October 2023, killing over 1,200 people. As of 5 June 2024, the war had killed more than 36,500 people in Gaza and internally displaced 75% of the population.

Soon after the Rafah strike, disturbing images and videos, claiming to show the dead and wounded, started circulating on social media. Equally distressing videos appeared in news reports, with advisories that the worst footage had been omitted.

One eyewitness described the scene: “I saw bodies everywhere. Children burning. I saw heads without bodies, the injured running around in pain, some alive but trapped inside burning tents.”

The attack came two days after the International Criminal Court ordered Israel to stop its broader assault on Rafah, which began on 6 May. The order came out of South Africa’s ongoing genocide case against Israel.

Then a video of a woman condemning the Rafah strike started doing the rounds on social media, with the claim she was US actor Candice King.

The video begins with text on the screen: “BEHEADED BABIES! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

The woman says: “I’m not talking about you guys or the Israeli government. I’m talking about you guys who still remain silent because you don’t want to lose your sponsor.”

The video’s most common caption reads: “American actress Candice King calls out the Israeli regime for slaughtering babies in Gaza, with last night's massacre in Rafah standing as the most recent evidence.”

Separate analyses of the strike’s debris by CNN and the New York Times found that the bombs used were made in the US, Israel’s long-time ally.

US backing has been crucial to Israel. But polls suggest US public opinion on the war has become divided. Celebrity opinion is equally divided.

Did Hollywood actor Candice King, known for her roles in the TV series The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, really post the video?

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US actor has not mentioned Rafah strike

A quick look at photos and videos of the actor Candice King shows that she is not the woman in the viral video. Their features and hair colour are different – as are their accents.

Reverse image searches of frames from the video led us to the Instagram account of another Candice King, a South African travel influencer. The account’s bio reads: “South Africa’s most followed travel family. Using our voice to free Palestine.”

King posted her Instagram video condemning the Rafah bombing on 27 May. She has posted several other messages in support of Palestine.

The US actor King has not mentioned Rafah – or Gaza, Palestine or Israel – on her Instagram or X (formerly Twitter) accounts.

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