Video game footage shared as Israeli tank destroyed by Hamas

By: Ishita Goel
November 6 2023

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Video game footage shared as Israeli tank destroyed by Hamas

Screenshots of X, Facebook posts claiming that the attached video shows an Israeli tank being destroyed by Hamas. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral video has been cropped out of a trailer for the video game ‘Squad: Version 4.0.’

Claim ID a4ca0b91

What is the claim?

A clip showing a man in uniform being injured in the explosion of a tank is viral on social media with claims that it shows a Hamas attack on an Israeli tank. Facebook and X users shared the clip and captioned it: "The scene of the destruction of an Israeli tank in a Hamas attack." 

Archived versions of the post can be accessed here and here. Another X user (archived link here) wrote, "The scene of the destruction of an Israeli tank in the attack of Palestinian freedom fighter."

Screenshot of the viral claims circulating online. (Source: Facebook/X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

The origin of the video

Through a reverse image search, we found that the viral video is a screen capture of an action sequence in a popular video game. The YouTube channel of the video game Squad posted a video on December 7, 2022, with the caption, "Squad: Red Star Rising Update Trailer." Between the 0:08 and the 0:16 timestamp, we can match the video to the frames seen in the viral clip. 

The description of the video reads, "With Squad's massive 4.0 update comes the People's Liberation Army Squad. Featuring seven new vehicles, fifteen faction-specific weapons & deployables, and a devastating rocket strike Commander ability, the PLA adds exciting tactical possibilities for Squad fans around the world."

The description of the YouTube channel says that Squad is a tactical multiplayer shooter with a “heavy focus on teamwork, communication, and realism.” “The game allows players to fully experience the rigors of modern day combat, from the tactics and tension of maneuvering, all the way to the action and intensity of a firefight,” it further reads.

Similarly, we found that another YouTube channel, Robert Stoneman, had posted the video in December 2022 with the caption "Squad - People's Liberation Army - Cinematic Trailer." Here also, we can see the viral clip starting at the 0:08 mark. The description of this video reads, "Cinematic trailer I created for Squad's 4.0 update. Music by Scott Tobin." 

The About page of the channel said that Stoneman was into creating "cinematic trailers, machinima and cutscenes for the video game industry." 

On comparing the background, the flashlight pole, the stop sign, the barbed wire wall, the tank, and the uniformed men in frames from both the videos, it is clear that they are from the same source.

Comparison of the video frame of the YouTube video and the viral clip. (Source: YouTube/X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

The official website of the game states that Squad “features large open maps, vehicle-based combined arms gameplay, and player-constructed bases to create a heart-thumping, visceral gaming experience which mixes organized tactical multi-squad planning with split-second decision-making in real-world scale firefights.” The game has been developed by Offworld Industries and was officially released on September 23, 2020.

The Israel-Hamas conflict and context behind viral clip

Anadolu Agency reported on November 1, 2023, that Hamas claimed that two Israeli tanks and four Israeli military vehicles had been destroyed with anti-armor shells. However, there was no comment by the Israeli army on the statements by Hamas.

On November 3, 2023, TASS reported that Hamas claimed it destroyed six Israeli tanks and two other armored vehicles in an attack near Gaza City. The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said that Hamas fighters "killed and wounded several [Israeli] soldiers" during the attack.

The verdict

A clip from a military tactical first-person shooter video game is being shared as ‘Israeli tanks being destroyed by Hamas’ amid the ongoing conflict with Israel. We have, therefore, marked this claim as false.

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