No, this is not a photo of IDF soldiers captured by Hamas

By: Arron Williams
November 1 2023

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No, this is not a photo of IDF soldiers captured by Hamas


The Verdict False

The photo is originally from 2013 and shows Israeli soldiers in an uncovered tunnel that was dug from Gaza into Israel.

Claim ID d0e6b17d


The Israel-Hamas war has entered its third week. As reported by AP News, officials have reported that the death toll in Gaza has reached over 8,000, and more than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel.

Since the start of the war on October 7, misinformation has swept across social media, and old footage or images have been misattributed to current events. One image circulating on X (formerly Twitter) and primarily spread by Arabic-speaking accounts shows Israeli soldiers in a tunnel.

Image being widely shared with captions that it shows soldiers captured by Hamas (Source: Twitter).

Text alongside the image in one widely circulated post claims that the photo is recent and shows Israeli soldiers recently captured by Hamas. One tweet states, “#Hamas releases a pic showing newly CAPTURED Israeli soldiers including officers. #IsraelPalestineWar”

Another X post translated from Arabic using Google Translate states; “Urgent: New hostages in the grip of Hamas tonight, IDF officers who were captured in the previous days!!”

In fact

Through a reverse image search, Logically Facts found the photo dates back to its publication on the English-language Israeli news website Ynetnews. The photo appears in an article from October 2013, predating the current war, and shows Israeli soldiers inspecting a tunnel discovered on the Israel-Gaza border.

The article explains that a 1.7km tunnel was exposed on the border of Gaza by the IDF. The tunnel started by the village of Absan al-Zarir and went under the border fence 300m into Israeli territory into an uncultivated wheat field. The tunnel had an average depth of 18 meters and was found through military engineering troops surveying the area. According to Ynetnews, this tunnel was built by Hamas and Palestinian laborers. 

After the tunnel was exposed, soldiers were sent in to ensure there were no explosives present. The image shows Israeli combat soldiers in the uncovered tunnel. Therefore, the image is not a photo released by Hamas showing newly captured soldiers. The photo is of Israeli soldiers in a tunnel uncovered in 2013.

The verdict

The image is from 2013 and shows Israeli soldiers in an uncovered tunnel on the Gaza border. The photo is not from the current Israel-Hamas war. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before