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Does Video Show Israel Helicopter Shoot Festival Goers?

todayNovember 13, 2023 3

Background
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The conflict between Israel and Hamas has invited an unwanted stream of dangerous misinformation, from fictitious claims that other nations have joined in the fighting, to baseless allegations that Hamas is training in Mexico.

One of the latest mistruths to have gathered rapid and massive attention is that Israel Apache helicopter pilots fired on festival goers fleeing the Supernova festival. Hundreds of Supernova festival attendees were killed by Hamas militants on October 7.

Israel’s AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter takes part in an air show during the graduation ceremony of Israeli air force pilots at the Hatzerim base in the Negev desert, on June 23, 2022. Controversial online commentators presented baseless claims recently that the Israel Defense Forces targeted festival goers fleeing Hamas on October 7, 2023.
Menahem KAHANA/AFP

The Claim

A post on X, formerly Twitter, by user @Partisangirl, aka Syrian Girl, on November 9, 2023, viewed 28.2 million times, stated: “BREAKING🚨: Israel admits apache helicopters fired on their own civilians running from the Supernova music festival.

“‘The pilots realised that there was tremendous difficulty in distinguishing within the occupied outposts and settlements who was a terrorist and who was a soldier or civilian… The rate of fire against the thousands of terrorists was tremendous at first, and only at a certain point did the pilots begin to slow down the attacks and carefully select the targets.'”

The post included what appeared to be overhead shots from an aircraft, firing on people and vehicles below.

The Facts

The footage was widely shared on social media, and seen by tens of millions of users on X.

However, the footage is not of Israeli Apache helicopters firing on civilians at the Supernova music festival. It was posted on October 9, 2023, by the Israel Defense Forces, two days after the attack at the Supernova festival.

A translation of the post states “Throughout the last day, Air Force planes have been carrying out extensive attacks along the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip, wreaking havoc on Hamas terrorists.

“In just the last three hours, about 130 targets were attacked using dozens of planes. The focus of the attack: Beit Hanoun, Shuja’iyya, Al-Furqan and Rimal.”

The clip that was used by @Partisangirl and others appears at the end of the video.

Newsweek has contacted the Israeli Air Force for comment and further details about the video. An IDF spokesperson told Newsweek: “On October 9, a video was published on the IDF’s official Twitter account describing IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip.

“The purpose of the strikes was to stop the murderous terrorists from penetrating into Israel to commit brutal and inhumane crimes,

“The viral post of an airstrike on the Nova festival is fake.”

Reports from the Supernova festival showed Hamas paragliding toward the event at around 6.30 a.m. on October 7. Patrons began leaving the site shortly afterward, only to discover nearby roads had been blocked. Some attempted to escape via a nearby field. Video showed Hamas militants at 9.30 a.m. taking remaining patrons on the site hostage and killing others.

Live reporting stated the Israeli army had announced “Operation Swords of Iron,” its retaliatory attack against Hamas in Gaza, in the hours after this.

Accounts from the survivors of the attack and recollections pieced together from footage posted online do not show evidence of airstrikes at the time of the Hamas invasion. A quote attached to the post on X with the video, describing Israeli pilots as being unable to distinguish between civilian and military targets, cites no sources or evidence.

Others have provided compelling evidence demonstrating the claim’s flaws. In a post on X from November 10, 2023, viewed 2.5 million times, OSINT investigators GeoConfirmed and contributors provided a series of coordinates, images, and map printouts that it said corresponded with locations in the film.

The locations it cited were near the Gaza border fence, three miles from the festival site, which matches reporting of where the IDF response was concentrated following Hamas’ attack.

Furthermore, it makes no sense that the Israel Defense Forces would put out a film showing their murdering of fellow citizens, let alone two days after the deaths.

X user @Partisangirl, otherwise known as Maram Susli, has been investigated by multiple media outlets and fact-checkers for misleading narratives across many topics.

The Ruling

False

False.

The video shared online was posted by the Israeli armed forces two days after the attack at the Supernova festival, identifying the subjects in it as “Hamas terrorists.”

It makes no sense that a government military force would publish footage of it killing its citizens at the same site where two days before Hamas slaughtered and kidnapped hundreds of them.

There is no evidence the IDF attacked Supernova festival goers, either from survivor accounts or from timelines recreated using footage and other details from the festival. OSINT investigators have also provided compelling evidence that links locations in the Apache footage to airstrikes in Gaza, three miles from where the Supernova festival was held.

FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Check team