Old, unrelated video shared as Israelis killing Palestinians

By: Soham Shah
December 20 2023

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Old, unrelated video shared as Israelis killing Palestinians

An X post claiming the video shows Israelis attacking Palestinians. (Source:X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video has been online since 2013. Based on reports from several news outlets, the video appears to be from Syria.

Claim ID 4041affb

(Trigger Warning: This story contains descriptions of violence and brutality. Reader discretion is advised.)

What is the claim?

A nearly three-minute-long video has been shared on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) with the claim that it shows Israelis killing Palestinians. In the video, a group of people can be seen stabbing two men multiple times and then hitting them with a large stone. The video was shared with a caption lambasting Israelis and calling them cowards, alleging that the footage is video proof that they "only bomb or stab in the back." 

The United Nations has leveled allegations against Israel of committing genocide in Gaza in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks and raised concerns about alleged war crimes against the Palestinian people. Several world leaders have also called for a ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip, a demand made by several protestors around the globe. Against this backdrop, several videos have surfaced on social media purportedly showing Israeli forces assaulting or killing Palestinians.

X post claiming the video shows Israelis attacking Palestinians. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the viral video predates the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. 

What is the truth?

Using a reverse image search, we found that several West Asian news outlets had reported on the contents of the video in 2013. 

On January 2, 2013, a YouTube channel called Daraa and Houran News posted a longer version of the video with the title "The Shabiha leak is slaughtering civilians with knives +18" (Google Translate). Shabiha is an armed pro-government militia group loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Video uploaded on January 2, 2013 by Daraa and Houran News.  (Source: YouTube/Daraa and Houran News)

Turkish news organization Haksoz Haber also reported on the incident on January 2, 2013. Their report, which carried a screenshot from the viral video, described how the Shabiha allegedly stabbed and stoned people in the video.

Alarabiya News also reported on the incident and carried a shorter version of the video the same day. The outlet said it could not independently verify the provenance of the footage or the identity of the perpetrators and the victims. According to the report, the video, which showed a summary execution, had been posted on YouTube by the media office of the Damascus-based rebel First Brigade, claiming it had been sourced from a captured member of the Shabiha.

Reuters also reported about the video on the same day but also said that it could not independently verify the attackers' identity. However, the report noted that a man in the video can be heard saying, "For God's eyes and your Lord, O Bashar," indicating that the actions were in Bashar's name.

The video shared on social media has been edited to carry a different audio. Logically Facts has not been able to locate the origin of this audio. However, it is clear that the video is unrelated to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

The verdict

While Logically Facts has not been able to verify the location of the video independently, it has been online since 2013 and, according to several reports, shows an act by the pro-government militia of the Syrian regime. We have marked this claim as false as it predates the ongoing conflict in Gaza and does not show Israelis attacking Palestinians. 

(Editor's Note: Logically Facts has avoided adding links to the video due to its disturbing nature.)

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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