Israeli Soldiers Celebrating Hanukkah in Gaza.
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On Saturday, December 9, Israeli accounts on the social media platform X circulated an image allegedly depicting Israeli soldiers in Gaza celebrating in front of a Hanukkah menorah, a symbol linked to the Jewish Festival of Lights. Moreover, the picture featured an engraving of the Star of David on one of the stacked stones in front of the building.
Misbar investigated the claim and found it to be fake. The image is AI-generated and does not depict Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.
Evidence Indicates the Image Is Ai-Generated
Misbar identified technical indicators suggesting that the image was created using artificial intelligence software. These indicators include distortions, inconsistencies, and structural errors, such as a headless soldier, abnormal shapes of smoke and fire on top of the building, and the absence of rising smoke in the air.
Furthermore, the image appears to have been intentionally created to resemble a particular type of Jewish menorah, specifically the Hanukkah menorah with nine branches, positioned on top of the destroyed houses. The design distinctly portrays the shape of the menorah with its nine branches, while the fire is crafted to imitate the emanation from the candles.
The Fake Image Detector tool, dedicated to unveiling the truth behind manipulated images using advanced techniques such as artificial intelligence software, has disclosed that the image “seems to have been created or modified using image-generating software.”
The spread of the claim coincided with the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. It is a Jewish religious holiday that resembles a festive occasion, commencing on the 25th day of Kislev, the ninth month in the Hebrew calendar, and lasting for eight days. It began on December 7 and continues until December 15.
The Ongoing Israeli War on Gaza
The claim emerged during the ongoing Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip, which began on October 7 and has resulted in the deaths of more than 17,500 civilians and over 46,000 injuries. Simultaneously, ground battles persist between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupying army across various fronts, including Khan Younis city in the southern part of the Strip, as well as the neighborhoods of Shujaiya and Jabalia refugee camp in the north.