Old video shared as 'Israeli soldiers celebrating' Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's chopper crash

By: Tahil Ali
May 21 2024

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Old video shared as 'Israeli soldiers celebrating' Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's chopper crash

Screenshot of a social media post falsely claiming that the video shows Israeli soldiers celebrating Raisi's accident. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral clip predates the crash and has been available online since at least December 2021.

Claim ID 41a7c06f

What is the claim?

Multiple social media users have posted a video showing some armed men dancing, claiming that it shows Israeli soldiers celebrating Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's fatal helicopter crash. The aircraft crash leading to the death of the Iranian President and foreign minister occurred on May 19 near Iran's border with Azerbaijan, where Raisi had inaugurated a dam.  

The official X account of Quds News Network, a Palestinian news agency, shared the video (archived here) with the caption, "Watch |Upon hearing reports of the Iranian president's helicopter crash, Israeli occupation soldiers in Gaza uploaded footage of themselves celebrating and dancing." The particular post has received 18,600 views so far. An archived link of a similar claim can be viewed here

The video, shot in an arid region with armored vehicles in the background, used in both the X posts has the text "t.me/s/israelcenzura" overlaid. We found that the text refers to the Telegram channel' Israel without censorship on Telegram.' It is likely that the claim originated from this channel on Telegram. The messaging platform has been reported to be used by many users for spreading disinformation amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Screenshots of social media posts falsely claiming that the video shows Israeli soldiers celebrating Raisi’s helicopter crash.
(Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts) 

However, Logically Facts found the video in question predates Raisi's crash and has been available online since at least December 2021.

How did we find the truth?

We conducted a reverse image search using keyframes from the viral video and found that the YouTube channel' ערוץ המאורות ליהדות ואמונה' (The Ma'orut Channel for Judaism and Faith) had shared (archived here) a video, with similar visuals, on December 26, 2021. The particular channel's bio in Hebrew mentions it as a 'global channel of Judaism' under the leadership of Rabbi Yehoram Yafta Shalita, and is for updates regarding 'Yemeni Judaism in Israel and in the Diaspora.' 

The credit for shooting the clip has been given to some unknown persons in the video description. The description also includes a link to a website of the same 'orthodox Jewish association.' The website had published the same video with the headline "Watch: The soldiers dance Yemenite" the same day as well.   

Logically Facts has contacted the YouTube channel for more details about the viral video, and this fact-check will be updated if and when we receive a response. 

Screenshot of the December 2021 YouTube video. (Source: YouTube/Modified by Logically Facts)

While we could not independently verify the context behind the viral video, it is clear that it is not of the alleged' celebration by Israeli soldiers' after hearing about Raisi's chopper crash, as the visuals have been online since at least December 2021. 

Israel-Iran conflict

With what was being seen as a spillover of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, the conflict between Iran and Israel escalated significantly recently, with Tehran launching an attack on April 13-14. Israel retaliated by striking Isfahan on April 19. These events have marked a shift from indirect to direct military confrontations between the two countries, involving direct attacks on each other's territories.

The verdict

The viral clip of the dancing soldiers has been available online since at least December 2021 and, therefore, is unrelated to the recent chopper crash that killed the Iranian President. We have, hence, marked this claim as false.

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