Old, unrelated video falsely linked to the Israel-Hamas war

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
November 3 2023

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Old, unrelated video falsely linked to the Israel-Hamas war

Screenshots of the viral claim that a video depicts an attack on Israeli soldiers amid the Israel-Hamas war. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

An old video reportedly of Government of National Accord troops firing at Libyan National Army soldiers is being linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Claim ID c17ec87c

The Israel-Hamas conflict that began on October 7, 2023, has seen numerous attacks in the region, with both sides engaging in hostilities in response to the ongoing conflict. On October 31, Israel said its forces attacked Hamas gunmen inside the Islamists' vast tunnel network beneath Gaza. According to Reuters, insurgents retaliated using anti-tank missiles and machine guns.

What's the claim?

Numerous users on X (formerly Twitter) shared a video depicting soldiers firing at a vehicle and the sound of gunshots. In the 45-second clip, the car comes under gunfire, causing it to overturn and explode. Two of the occupants thrown onto the street while trying to escape are seen being targeted. The video implies the involvement of Israeli soldiers in a firefight amid the Israel-Hamas war. One such post (archived here) had over 20,000 views. 

Screenshots of the viral posts on X. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video dates back to 2020 and is unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas conflict. The video reportedly shows Government of National Accord (GNA) soldiers engaging in combat with  LNA (Libyan National Army) troops.

What are the facts?

Through a reverse search of keyframes, we were able to find news reports that contained various versions of the video, including a shorter 30-second clip, an extended version lasting over a minute, and a screenshot. These reports were originally published on websites like Lenta.Ru, Piter T.V., and Alhurra in June 2020.

These reports said that the video depicted an ambush carried out by the GNA forces against units associated with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar near the Libyan capital, Tripoli. According to Lenta.Ru and Piter T.V., the video was initially shared by the Telegram channel "Military Informant." The footage captured GNA soldiers opening fire on an LNA convoy, and in the aftermath of the attack, injured soldiers can be seen attempting to flee the scene.

The video, originally posted on "Военный Осведомитель" (translated from Russian as "Military Informant") on June 3, 2020, has a total duration of one minute and thirty-six seconds.

The currently viral segment within this original video spans up to 52 seconds. The video is accompanied by a Russian description that translates to: "One of the most brutal ambush videos in recent memory. 18+ Libyan PNS destroy an LNA convoy in the vicinity of Tripoli. Cars are literally flipping over."

(Screenshot from "Военный Осведомитель" (translated as Military Informant) Telegram post dated June 3, 2020. Source: Военный Осведомитель/ Screenshot)

Logically Facts couldn't independently verify the viral video's origin or context. However, since the video has been available online since at least 2020, it is evident that it does not depict events from the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Libyan civil war between 2014 –2020

From 2014 to 2020, the civil war in Libya was a conflict primarily between the eastern and western centers of political power. In the western region, the GNA based in Tripoli held power, while the Tobruk administration moved to the eastern city following contested elections, a report by The Guardian said. The United Nations formally recognized the GNA as Libya's legitimate government. The Tobruk government had appointed Haftar to lead the LNA to restore national sovereignty.

The conflict between these two entities, the GNA and LNA, involved a series of military operations and battles in Libya. The conflict had notable global implications, as multiple nations backed either the GNA or the LNA. The GNA received support from the U.N. and Western countries, primarily Turkey, Qatar, and Italy. Meanwhile, the LNA garnered backing from Russia, Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, reported The Guardian. In October 2020, Libya's warring factions took a significant step towards reconciliation by signing a nationwide "permanent ceasefire" at a U.N. ceremony.

The verdict

An old 2020 video from Libya was shared with a false claim in the context of the Israel-Hamas conflict, incorrectly portraying the individuals in the video as Israeli soldiers. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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