By: Umme Kulsum
October 9 2023
Screenshots of social media posts purportedly showing visuals of recent Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
Logically Facts found that the viral video is from May 2021. It is unrelated to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.
What’s the claim?
On October 7, Hamas militants launched a surprise attack from the blockaded Gaza Strip into surrounding Israeli communities, killing scores and kidnapping others. In response to the attacks, Israel conducted airstrikes in Gaza, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring that the country is now at war with Hamas.
According to the Associated Press, the death toll passed 1,100 on the morning of October 9. More than 123,000 Gazans have been displaced after the attack, the report added.
Following the recent conflict, many unrelated and outdated visuals are being shared across social media platforms. One such video, showing a multi-storeyed skyscraper crumbling following an airstrike, is being extensively circulated on X (archived here), purporting to be from the recent unrest and shows an airstrike by the Israeli forces. The X post sharing the video was captioned, “Breaking News: Israel launched Operation Iron Swords Israel destroys third Gaza tower eliminated Palestinian Terrorists.” The post was viewed more than 39,000 times and was reshared more than 180 times at the time of publishing.
Screenshot of claims made online. (Source: Facebook/X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, this video predates the recent Isreal-Hamas conflict.
What did we find?
A reverse image search using keyframes from the viral clip led us to a video report published by Al Jazeera English on its official YouTube account on May 12, 2021. The video was titled “Israel bombards government buildings in Gaza amid ground raids.” Around the 2:33 mark in the YouTube video, we can see the exact visuals of the building collapsing, as seen in the viral clip. The video description read, “Heavy bombardment on the Gaza Strip has continued into Wednesday as Israeli forces launched intensive raids on various locations across the besieged coastal territory…Local sources said Israeli fighter jets bombed sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups, in addition to security and police buildings. In Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood, a pregnant woman, Reema Telbani and her child were killed by an Israeli attack on their home.”
Screenshot of Al Jazeera video report shared in 2021 (Source: YouTube/Al Jazeera English)
The longer YouTube video was also shared by Al Jazeera on its official X account in May 2021. The accompanying caption read, “This is the moment the 14-storey al-Shorouq tower, housing media offices in Gaza City, was completely destroyed by multiple Israeli air raids on Wednesday.”
The incident of the building crumbling in the airstrike was covered by many mainstream media outlets, including CNN and Reuters. Reuters Pictures had also posted a few images showing the collapse of the Al-Shorouq Tower, which were similar to the visuals seen in the viral clip, on May 12, 2021, on its X account. The images were credited to Reuters photographer Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.
Comparison of pictures released by Reuters in 2021 and the viral video (Source: X/ @reuterspictures_
The video shows the collapse of the Al-Shorouq Tower in Gaza after an Israeli airstrike in 2021. It is not related to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. Therefore, we mark the claim misleading.