Clip of Hamas spokesperson thanking Iran is not connected to current conflict

By: John Faerseth
October 12 2023

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Clip of Hamas spokesperson thanking Iran is not connected to current conflict

Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts


The Verdict Misleading

The statement by Hamas spokesperson Abu Ubaida is from December 2014 and does not refer to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Claim ID 1ae1bbf3


Following the attack by Hamas, the group officially known as the Islamic Resistance Movement that governs the Gaza Strip, on Israeli-held territory on October 7, misinformation has spread rapidly. At least 1,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the October 7 attacks. According to Palestinian officials, retaliatory Israeli strikes have killed at least 830 Gazans. In this context, several X (formerly Twitter) users have been sharing a video of Abu Ubaida, the spokesperson of Hamas’ military wing the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. 

In the video, Abu Ubaida states, "We thank the Islamic Republic of Iran who provided us with weapons, money, and other equipment! He gave us missiles to destroy Zionist fortresses, and helped us with standard anti-tank missiles!" 

The video was first shared on October 8, with the caption “Breaking news!,” implying that it was a recent statement. The video has also been shared on Facebook with a similar caption and has been linked to claims that U.S. president Joe Biden freed 6 billion of Iranian funds that had been frozen in South Korean banks, and therefore bears a share of responsibility for the recent attacks in Israel.

In fact

While the statement is authentic, the video has been available since at least 2017. According to Amwaj Media, a platform focusing on Iran, Iraq, and the Arabian peninsula, it is originally from December 2014, when Abu Ubaida was addressing a crowd in Gaza. It does not refer to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Abu Ubaida (also spelled Abu Obaidah and Abu Obayda) is the nom de guerre of a Palestinian militant. According to the Counter Extremism Project, an international NGO combating extremist groups, his birth name is Hudayfa Samir Abdullah al-Kahlout. 

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades was founded in 1991 as the military wing of Hamas, and is the largest and best-equipped group operating in Gaza. It is devoted to the complete destruction of the State of Israel. The name is derived from Iz-al-Din al-Qassam (1882-1935), a Muslim preacher and opponent of British rule and Jewish immigration who was killed in battle with British police outside Jenin after the killing of Jewish police constable Moshe Rosenfeld, and became a key symbol of Palestinian nationalism. 

In August 2023, the U.S. announced an agreement with Iran to free five U.S. citizens detained in the country in exchange for allowing Iran to access $6 billion of oil revenue that had been frozen in South Korean banks since 2019 when President Donald Trump imposed a ban on Iranian oil exports and sanctions on its banking sector.

It has currently not been established whether Iran played a role in the attacks, and Iran has denied being involved in organizing or planning them. Iranian officials have previously boasted about arming Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia and political party in Lebanon. In 2022, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said publicly that the group had received about $70 million from Iran that year and that it used the money to build rockets.

The verdict

The statement was made several years ago and does not refer to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. We have therefore rated it as misleading. 

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