In the midst of the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip that began on October 7, individuals aligned with Israel have continued disseminating misinformation in an attempt to manipulate the Palestinian narrative of civilian casualties in Gaza and elicit sympathy from the international community.
Israeli Force Misleading Share a Video from Syria in Relation to Gaza
The Israeli Forces shared a video on October 12 containing several clips meant to justify the civilian casualties in Gaza. In one particular 18-second segment of the video, the Israeli forces presented an excerpt alleging that Hamas was firing rockets at Israel from a densely populated neighborhood in the Gaza Strip, suggesting that Palestinians were being used as human shields.
The video’s caption reads, “THIS is what the world needs to know about the civilians in Gaza.”
Earlier, Ofir Gendelman, the Arabic spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, used the same video to justify their genocidal campaign during the May 2021 assault on the Gaza Strip. This video has been used by pro-Israel accounts since May 2021 to legitimize their continued military assault in Gaza, which has been criticized as having severe consequences for the local population.
Misbar's team conducted a comprehensive reverse image search and determined that the video in question is misleading. Contrary to its viral claim, the video is unrelated to the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza. It has been identified as an old video, with origins dating back to December 22, 2019. The video's caption specifies that the footage was actually shot in Maarrat al-Numan, a city situated in northeastern Syria.
False Claim of Muslim Support for Israeli Assault
On October 16, "Social Impact Israel," an account with a pro-Israel stance, shared a photo purporting to feature a Muslim woman in a hijab shaking hands with a woman wearing a coat adorned with the Israeli flag and Hebrew words. The account asserted that even Muslims are backing Israel in its conflict with Gaza.
The post’s caption reads, “Jews, Christians, Druez, Muslims, Druez, minorities and Immigrants from all over the world stand united together in this fight.”
Numerous prominent Israeli accounts, associated with the Israel Foreign Ministry and featuring ambassadors, counselors, and diplomats, have shared and reposted the photo. This suggests that the photo and its message have gained significant attention and endorsement from official representatives of Israel to gain world sympathy.
Misbar's investigation has revealed that the circulating footage is outdated, having been shared before the ongoing Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. The photo in question was originally posted in the aftermath of the earthquake that occurred in Morocco in September 2023. It appears that the photo was wrongly associated with the current war in the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s Bid For International Sympathy
It is not unlikely that the circulation of this photo by Israeli accounts is an attempt to shape the narrative and alleviate international pressure, especially in light of the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip resulting from intensified airstrikes. Throughout the ongoing conflict, the Israeli military has used its media channels to portray Israel as valuing civilian lives and upholding high ethical standards in its battle against what they term the "forces of pure evil," referring to Hamas. Misbar's team has been active in debunking various claims by high-ranking Israeli officials aimed at altering the Palestinian narrative.
Israel’s Ongoing Aggression on Gaza
An Israeli airstrike has targeted Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, where numerous civilians seek medical treatment and refuge from ongoing attacks. The Gaza health ministry reports that at least 500 individuals lost their lives in the hospital explosion. In addition, a United Nations-managed school serving as a shelter for refugees was also struck.
Leaders from around the world have strongly condemned the bombing of Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. Protests have erupted across the Middle East, including in Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinian demonstrators have clashed with Palestinian Authority security forces. Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Saudi Arabia both condemned the hospital bombing, while Western leaders refrained from assigning blame, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation into the circumstances.
During the 11-day war, Israel airstrikes have killed more than 3,000 Palestinians.