By: Vivek J
October 19 2023
Screenshot of the viral posts (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
The post showing the Israeli Defence Force acknowledging the bombing of the Gaza hospital is not from an official account of IDF.
What is the claim?
Rocket attacks by Hamas militants on Israel that began on October 7, 2023, have resulted in a massive counter-offensive by the Israeli military. According to the latest reports, over 4,000 people were killed in the conflict, with several thousand displaced from their homes in Gaza.
As U.S. President Joe Biden was set to visit Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023, Hamas claimed that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had bombed a children’s hospital in Gaza, and media reports estimated that at least 500 people may have been killed. Israel has denied any involvement and has, in turn, blamed the militant outfit Palestinian Islamic Jihad for the attack.
Amid this, social media posts containing screenshots of an alleged Facebook post by IDF Arabia claimed that IDF has acknowledged bombing the hospital in Gaza. Translated to English, the Arabic text in the screenshot reads, “Due to the lack of medical tools and the lack of medical staff, we decided to bomb the Baptist Hospital in Gaza and grant them euthanasia.” Archives of similar posts containing such screenshots can be seen here, here, and here.
Screenshots of the social media posts with the viral claim. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, we found that the account claiming to be IDF’s Arabic language account is fake, and IDF has not shared such a post.
What we found
Upon searching posts by IDF acknowledging the hospital bombing, we did not come across any posts on their official social media accounts, nor did we find the social media account containing the viral post.
However, we came across another Facebook page (archive here) in Arabic with a similar name that translates to “Israel Defence Forces in Arabic.” This page has a similar post (archive here) purporting to show the IDF acknowledging the hospital bombing. The “About” page was empty, and its “intro” noted that it was a personal blog created on October 18, 2023.
Screenshots of the Facebook page purporting to show IDF’s Arabic account. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)
We further compared the screenshot from the viral posts with some of the official accounts of IDF and noted that the official accounts were all verified by Facebook. However, the account in the screenshot was unverified as it did not have the blue tick mark next to the account name.
Comparison of the screenshot from the viral post and the official Facebook account of IDF. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshots)
By looking for the IDF’s official account in Arabic, we came across a recent news report by the Times of Israel stating that Avichay Adraee is the IDF’s official Arabic spokesperson. After looking for more about Avichay Adraee, we came across an official announcement by the IDF from October 2011, stating that they had launched an official Facebook page in Arabic and that Major Avichay Adraee would spearhead it. He is currently serving as the official spokesperson to the Arab media, according to the official Facebook page’s bio.
Screenshot of the IDF’s official Facebook account. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)
There is no independent confirmation of the cause of the explosion at the hospital, while Israel and Hamas blame one another for the incident.
BBC Journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh, on his X (formerly Twitter) account, has noted that the viral screenshot came from a now-deleted post and was not the official account of IDF.
We have contacted the IDF and shall update this fact-check upon receiving their response.
The viral screenshot of a purported Facebook post showing the IDF acknowledging the Gaza Hospital bombing did not come from a verified IDF social media account. The IDF has so far denied the bombing accusation, and none of its official social media accounts contain the text or acknowledgment as seen in the viral post. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.