Israeli commander did not admit to Israeli tanks killing civilians in interview

By: Nikolaj Kristensen
December 19 2023

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Israeli commander did not admit to Israeli tanks killing civilians in interview

(Kilde; TikTok/X/Screenshots)


The Verdict Misleading

The video was deceptively edited to make it seem like the Israeli commander admitted to Israeli tanks firing on civilians.

Claim ID 5d696bbd


On social media, users shared a video of Israeli Lieutenant Colonel Golan Vach with claims that in the video, he admits to war crimes of firing on buildings with tanks, killing 15 civilians, including 8 babies. 

The 37-second-long video shows Golan Vach speaking at a kibbutz close to the Gaza border on October 14, 2023. In the first half of the video, he tells of handcuffed couples and burned people that were found in the housing behind him. Vach then appears to be explaining how Israeli tanks had fired on the houses. 

However, the video has been deceptively edited to make it seem as if Vach says that Israeli tanks killed the civilians in the kibbutz. What he is actually describing is how Hamas militants allegedly gathered civilians and killed and burned them during the attack on October 7, and then how Israeli tanks fought back against Hamas to regain the settlement. Vach did say that Israeli tanks had fired on the houses, but not that Israeli fire had killed civilians.

In fact

We found the full-length interview on the website of Turkish government-run news agency Anadolu Agency. The interview makes apparent that a segment was cut out of the video on social media. 

The clip circulating on social media starts approximately 8 seconds into the interview when Vach has just been asked about casualties he found in the settlement. 28 seconds into the interview comes the part that was cut out of the video shared on social media. Here, a journalist off camera asks Vach if he had seen the civilians that had been killed, to which Vach answered that he was the one who evacuated them. The journalist then inquires about the destruction of the housing behind Vach. “This destruction was the cause of our tanks’ attack,” explains Vach in the interview. After this is where the video on social media resumes.

Reports by Anadolu Agency do suggest that Israeli tank fire may have played a role in the death of civilians in the retaliatory attacks against Hamas, and the agency highlighted the interview with Vach as evidence to that claim. The agency is known to show varying credibility.  

Another video, posted on the YouTube channel of British tabloid The Sun, of Vach speaking in the same place, makes it clear that he was describing civilians killed by Hamas, not by Israeli fire. Vach describes the gathering, killing, and burning of civilians as a modus operandi of the Hamas fighters during the October 7 attack.

The verdict

The video has been edited to make it seem like the Israeli commander admits to Israeli fire causing the death of civilians. The commander Golan Vach makes no such admission in the interview, and his words have been misrepresented. The video leaves out a part where Vach is asked about the destruction of housing, which is why he talks about Israeli tank fire. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.  

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