By: Chandan Borgohain
October 11 2023
Screenshots from the Assamese outlet's video report claiming to show footage of the recent Israel-Hamas war. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Fatcs)
Logically Facts found that several clips used in News AT NE's video report predate the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
The Palestinian militant organization Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7. In the following hours, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared "war" against the group and conducted airstrikes in Gaza. According to the latest reports, at least 1,900 people have been killed on both sides.
What is the claim?
Several old and unrelated videos are being misattributed to the ongoing conflict and shared on social media. Assamese media outlet News AT NE published a video report on its Facebook page on October 8, purportedly showing visuals of the conflict. The video report, which had gained over 68,000 views and 980 likes at the time of publishing, uses six different clips claiming that they show the recent Hamas attack on Israel. The post's caption, when translated from Assamese, reads, "Israel bleeding//Hamas fired 5,000 rockets in 25 minutes." The video report can be viewed here.
A screenshot of the News AT NE post. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)
However, at least four clips included in the viral news video report are old and predate the ongoing war.
What did we find?
Clip 1: Visuals of a gathering of people
Around 22 seconds into the video report, we see explosives being fired at a crowd gathered in an open space. The clip can also be seen in the later parts of the Assamese video report. We took a screenshot of the clip and performed a reverse image search, which led us to a 40-second-long YouTube video published on May 8, 2021. On the top-right corner of the YouTube video, we noticed a logo with the Arabic text "ميدان القدس."
A comparison of the screenshots from the viral video report and YouTube video from 2021. (Source: Facebook/YouTube/Modified by Logically Facts)
We then came across a Facebook page of a media/news company called Maydan Alquds, with the same Arabic logo, which also carries a link to its website. We found that the footage in the report is taken from a live recording uploaded on the Facebook page on May 8, 2021. The viral footage features around the 27:00 timestamp of the Facebook live video. The caption of the Facebook post reads, "Live coverage continues of the massacre committed by the occupation army in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque." The 51.45-minute-long Facebook live video shows many civilians and armed men outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, taking a long tour around the area before arriving at the spot where the crowd is gathered and small explosions are seen.
A comparison of the screenshots from the video report and the original Facebook live video. (Source: News At NE/ميدان القدس/Modified by Logically Facts)
We also found a video report by The Guardian published on May 8, 2021, that carries visuals of Israeli police attacking Palestinians at Al Aqsa mosque. The Israeli police had broken into the mosque's prayer hall on May 7, 2021, and attacked Palestinians to quell anti-eviction protests. The report further adds that the protests were against the potential evictions of Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers.
Another report published by Al Jazeera on May 7 stated that the night-time clashes at the Al Aqsa mosque compound left at least 205 Palestinians and 17 officers injured. The report specified that the protests were over Israel's threat of evicting dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Clip 2: Visuals showing a helicopter being shot down
At the 0:35 and 1:52 timestamp, a clip in the video report shows a man shooting a surface-to-air missile and bringing down a helicopter. Logically Facts performed a reverse image search on a keyframe of the clip and found that it had been shared on YouTube by 'RIMStudio' on February 27. According to the description of the video, it shows the tactical shooting simulation video game Arma 3. The clip is not an actual scene of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Comparison of the screenshots from the viral video and the Arma 3 video game shared on YouTube. (Source: Facebook/YouTube/Modified by Logically Facts)
Logically Facts has previously fact-checked this video here.
Clip 3: Video of missiles lighting up the sky
At the 1:23 mark of the News AT NE video, a 12-second-long clip shows a trail of rockets being fired into the sky. A reverse image search on a keyframe of this clip led us to a video report by The Telegraph shared on May 12, 2021. According to the report titled "Tel Aviv: Iron Dome filmed intercepting barrage of rockets over Israel," the video shows Israel's Iron Dome, an all-weather defense system, intercepting a rocket fire over Tel Aviv launched from the Gaza Strip.
Comparison of the screenshots from News AT NE' report and The Telegraph video. (Source: Facebook/YouTube/Modified by Logically Facts)
The clip was also shared by the official page of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) on Facebook on May 12, 2021, and was captioned, "RAW FOOTAGE: This is the moment the Iron Dome intercepted a barrage of rockets over Tel Aviv and central Israel."
Comparison of the screenshots from the viral video and the IDF Facebook video. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)
This establishes that the clip predates the current Isreal-Hamas war.
Clip 4: Video of police officers at night
Around the 2:09 timestamp of the video report, a 27-second-long shaky clip shows civilians and a group of police personnel inside a wooded area at night time. However, we found that these visuals also date back to May 8, 2021, and can be seen in the same live recording uploaded by the Facebook page 'ميدان القدس' that carries the footage seen in clip 1. The footage of the wooded area can be seen in this Facebook video showing the area around the Al Aqsa mosque between 27:35 and 28:04 timestamp.
A comparison of the screenshots from the viral video and the original Facebook live video. (Source: News At NE/ميدان القدس/Modified by Logically Facts)
Therefore, this clip is also unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas war.
What do we know about the two other clips?
Logically Facts checked the remaining two clips used in the video report at 0:53 and 0:57 timestamps.
Screenshots of the two clips seen in the video report. (Source: Facebook/News At NE/Modified by Logically Facts)
The clip at the 0:53 timestamp briefly shows a cross-way road with a water fountain nearby recorded from a high building. We performed a reverse image search on a keyframe of the clip and came across an X post that claims that the clip shows the center of Ashkelon in Israel. Taking a cue from this, Logically Facts also geolocated the area on Google Street View and identified the center of Ashkelon in South Israel. While we could not independently verify the clip's context or origin, the oldest occurrence of this video we could find on social media was from October 7 (10:57 am) when journalist Neria Kraus posted it on X.
The second clip at the 0:57 timestamp, showing armed personnel entering a yellow house, has surfaced recently on social media amid the war and has been going viral as showing Hamas militants "going from house to house, killing people." A closer look at the uniforms of the forces suggests that they seemingly belong to the Israeli police force rather than Hamas militants.
Uniforms of the armed personnel in the viral video matches those of Israeli security forces. (Source: X/Getty Images/Modified by Logically Facts)
This was also pointed out by several people on X (formerly Twitter), including BBC journalist and fact-checker Shayan Sardarizadeh, who said that the video shows Israeli police. While Logically Facts could not independently verify the context of the footage or whether the clip is from the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, the oldest version of this video we could locate was posted on X by Ian Miles Cheong, a right-wing influencer from Malaysia. In his post shared on October 7, at 3:39 p.m., Cheong had also claimed that the video showed Hamas militants, but readers pointed out in the community notes that the uniforms worn by the people in question matched those of the Israeli armed police/special forces. Cheong's post (archived here) had been viewed over 12.8 million times at the time of publication.
The video report published by the Assamese media outlet News AT NE falsely attributes several old visuals to the recent war between Israel and Hamas.