By: Rajini KG
May 16 2023
Visuals of Gaza militants firing rockets at Israel in May 2021 have been falsely linked to the recent clash between Israel and Palestine.
On May 10, 2023, Palestinian militants in Gaza launched over 460 missiles at Israel. The conflict intensified after 23 Palestinians, including three top terrorists, were killed in Israeli bombings, AP News reports. Following this, false videos depicting rocket attacks on Israel began to circulate on social media. A Facebook user shared a video and wrote: "Amazing! The terrorists of Gaza fired dozens of rockets towards Israeli cities and Israel's Iron Dome shoots them out of the sky! Let's continue to pray for Israel's safety. And praise the Lord that Israel's ingenuity is protecting them. #PrayforIsrael #DefendIsrael #Israel #CUFI." The video depicts an iron dome on two tall buildings intercepting rockets fired in the night.
However, the claim is false. The video of the iron dome intercepting the series of rockets is from 2021, not 2023.
According to AP News, Hamas has engaged in four wars with Israel since the Hamas group gained control of Gaza in 2007. Gaza is a city that shares the border with Egypt and Israel.
A reverse image search on one of the keyframes of the video led us to an official Twitter account of the State of Israel, which posted the same video on May 16, 2021. It was captioned, "These aren't fireworks over Ashdod. They're rockets."
Hananya Naftali, a leading Israeli-Jewish influencer, posted the same video on May 16, 2021, and wrote: "This is not Star Wars, this is the Iron Dome intercepting rockets above Israeli city of Ashdod. Iron Dome is literally saving our lives in Israel."
According to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, the iron dome was created by Israeli firms Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries and became operational in 2011. It uses radar to detect and eliminate oncoming threats. It combats threats from aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, PGMs, and cruise missiles for land and naval air defense, as well as rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) threats, the website adds.
On May 11, 2021, AFP News Agency also posted a video of the dome intercepting the rockets fired from Gaza, from a different angle. The description mentions that missiles fired from the Gaza Strip were intercepted by Israel's "Iron Dome" air defense system during the night.
Therefore, this indicates that the video has been online since 2021 and is not recent.
According to Reuters, on May 11, 2021, tensions between Israel and Hamas intensified, resulting in 32 Palestinian deaths and three Israeli fatalities. Israeli air defense missiles intercepted rockets fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that were launched from Gaza. Israeli and American authorities classify the Islamist Hamas group as a terrorist outfit.
The videos of the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza were also published by the Associated Press on May 12, 2023. The video shows the Iron Dome intercepting rockets at night in Tel Aviv city. The video is distinctly different from the now-viral video — the paths of the rockets fired and the way they are intercepted differs from the viral video.
A two-year-old video of Israel’s Iron Dome intercepting missiles and rockets has resurfaced and has been falsely linked to the recent clash between Israel and Palestine. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.