Video of Israeli forces detaining Palestinian ambulance falsely linked to the Israel-Hamas war

By: Pallavi Sethi
December 21 2023

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Video of Israeli forces detaining Palestinian ambulance falsely linked to the Israel-Hamas war

Source: (Instagram/@imanleelegance)


The Verdict False

The footage was filmed in the Occupied West Bank in 2019.

Claim ID 41158bfe


On October 7, 2023, the Islamic militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli soldiers and civilians. Israel retaliated with missile strikes across Gaza. In the two months since the conflict, over 17,000 Palestinians and 1,100 Israelis have died. 

Social media users are circulating an old video (archived here and here) showing Israeli forces detaining a Palestinian ambulance, falsely presenting it as part of the current conflict. The video shows Israeli soldiers instructing an ambulance driver to turn off the engine and surrender the keys. An Instagram post shared the video and erroneously captioned the footage as "The Israeli Zionist army detains paramedics and prevents them from saving lives in Gaza."

In Fact

A Google reverse image search showed that the video originated from the Ramallah District in the West Bank, dating back to 2019. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, known as B'Tselem, shared the original video on YouTube and Facebook in March 2019.

B'Tselem, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to documenting and sharing evidence of human rights violations by Israel, also published an article on this incident on March 25, 2019. The report details how, on March 8, 2019, a protest over the killing of two Palestinians escalated into clashes with the Israeli Forces. In response to the conflicts, medical assistance was called to the scene. B'Tselem noted that the Israeli forces detained one of the ambulances and forced the driver and paramedic to "wait there for about 15 minutes, until the soldiers moved away."

The video of the Israeli Forces detaining an ambulance is old and unrelated to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

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