By: Soham Shah
October 26 2023
Post claiming video shows Israel attacking Hamas militants (Source:X/Modified by Logically Facts)
The video is reportedly from Syria and has been online since at least 2014. It does not show Israel's response to the October 7 attack by Hamas.
What is the claim?
A video showing fighters in military uniform being hit by an explosion is being shared on social media with the false claim that it shows Israeli soldiers killing Hamas militants in response to the October 7, 2023 attack. One such video was shared with the caption, “PRICELESS! Israel hunting down every single participant in the massacre. Watch how fast the smile goes away …”. Another iteration of the post read: “Israel hunting down every single participant in the Hamas massacre.” Archive links of the posts can be accessed here and here.
Posts claiming that the video shows Hamas militants being killed by Israel. (Source:X)
However, we found that the video is old and unrelated to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.
What is the truth?
Using a reverse image search, we found that the video has been online since at least November 2014 and has been shared with various claims. A longer version of the video was posted on YouTube on August 6, 2017, where the fighter can be heard screaming "Oh Zahra" at the beginning of the video. According to an AFP Arabic fact-check from January 2020, "Oh Zahra" is a Shiite slogan. This makes it unlikely that the video shows Hamas fighters, as Hamas is a Sunni organization.
A longer version of the video posted on YouTube in August, 2017 (Source: YouTube)
We also found that a still from the video was posted on Turkish news website Haksoz Haber on December 10, 2014, saying that it shows "Shia militants" fighting on the side of the Syrian regime being attacked in the Nubul Al-Zahra region in Northern Syria.
Screenshot of the Turkish news report translated using Google Translate (Source: Haksoz Haber)
The towns of Nubl and Zahra are located a little over 25 km from the Syrian city of Aleppo. On February 3, 2016, Reuters reported that the two towns were freed from a three-year siege by rebels during the Syrian Civil War. The report also stated that Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias supported President Bashar Al-Assad in the fight.
We identified similarities in the uniform worn by Iraqi Shia fighters of the Popular Mobilization Units and fighters in the viral video. An image used by AI Monitor, attributed to Reuters, shows these fighters marching on Jerusalem Day in 2016 with similar insignia and text on the arm and chest of their uniform.
Similarities in uniforms of Iraqi Shia fighters of the Popular Mobilization Units and the viral video. (Source: Reuters/Khalid al Mousily (L)/YouTube (R)/Modified by Logically Facts)
AFP Arabic also noted that the fighter in the video speaks in an Iraqi dialect.
While Logically Facts could not independently verify the origin of the video and what it shows, as it has been on the internet since at least 2014, it cannot show Israel attacking Hamas militants after the October 7 attack.
We have marked this claim as false as the uniform in the viral video is similar to Iraqi Shiite soldiers, and it has been online since at least 2014, predating Hamas’ recent attack on Israel and the consequent outbreak of war.