Old video from Israel falsely linked to recent attack by Hamas

By: Rahul Adhikari
October 9 2023

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Old video from Israel falsely linked to recent attack by Hamas

Social media posts claiming that the video shows the Israeli army evacuating the airbase near Gaza Strip. (Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The video predates the ongoing conflict, and while from Israel, dates back to at least September 15, 2023.

Claim ID 700a81b6

On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an attack on Israel, claiming to have fired 5,000 rockets at the country. In reaction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was "at war" and vowed that the group would "pay an unprecedented price."

At least 510 people have been killed and 2,750 injured in Gaza. Meanwhile, at least 16 have been killed in the West Bank and 800 in Israel as the war continues for the second day in the conflict-ridden area, according to Al Jazeera. Amid this conflict, old and unverified visuals are being widely shared across social media claiming to show recent events.

What is the claim?

Against this backdrop, a video is circulating on social media claiming that it shows the Israeli army evacuating the airbase near the Gaza Strip after the attack. The viral video shows a busy junction with several cars passing by. Two trucks can be seen carrying fighter jets at a crossroads, and two signposts seen in the viral video display the names of two places - Ar'ara Banegev and Arad. One particular post on Facebook has garnered over 3,900 views. Archived versions of the posts can be seen here and here

Screenshots of the viral posts on X and Facebook. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video is old and is not connected with the recent attacks on Israel.

What did we find?

A reverse image search on the frames from the video revealed that it dates back to at least September 15, 2023. Several X users shared a longer version of the video with the caption, "Two F-16 fighter jets transported by ground transport were spotted in southern Israel." 

This video is a zoomed-in version of the viral video, showing the truck carrying the fighter jets making a turn at the junction and then driving away. We compared both videos and identified the same numbers on the jets and the signboard with directions. The comparison confirms that the videos capture the same incident.

Comparison between the viral video and the video found on X. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

The viral video was also uploaded to a YouTube channel on September 19, 2023. The description of the YouTube short claims that the video showcases F-16 fighter jets being transported by ground in Southern Israel.

Locating the video

The places on the road signs in the video, Ar'ara Banegev and Arad, are both towns within the Southern District of Israel. Using Google Street View, we could identify the exact junction where the video was recorded. This junction is situated at the intersection of Highway number 80 and Highway number 25, known as the Ar'ara BaNegev Junction. Notably, the highway number (80) is also visible on the signboard, which is prominently positioned in the center of the junction.

Comparison between the viral video and Google Street View. (Source: X/Google Maps/Modified by Logically Facts)

What happened in September?

According to reports from Israeli media, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted a military drill in collaboration with Greece on September 13 to prepare the military for a potential strike on Iran and its nuclear facilities. During the exercise, dozens of fighter jets, spy planes, and refueling aircraft flew several thousand kilometers to Greece. 

We found that the viral video surfaced on the internet on September 15, predating the recent escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. While we were unable to independently verify the context of the video, the evidence we found confirms that it was captured in the Southern District of Israel and is unrelated to the recent attack on Israel.

The verdict

The viral video claiming to show the Israeli army evacuating an airbase near the Gaza Strip after an attack is old and unrelated to the recent attacks. The video dates back to at least September 15 and was captured in the Southern District of Israel. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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