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Clip from video game – doesn’t show Israeli helicopters shot down over Gaza

IN SHORT: With major news events, such as the war in Israel and Palestine, false information on social media proliferates. A viral video is an example of this, showing a clip from a video game, not Israeli helicopters shot down over Gaza.

“Israeli helicopters bombing Gaza got shot down … Israelis said 4 helicopters were downed.”

That’s a common caption to a video circulating on social media in Nigeria and elsewhere since 8 October 2023.

In the video, two helicopters fly amid what seem to be flashes of rocket fire. Both are hit in a cloud of smoke and crash to the ground.

Another caption reads: “Palestinian freedom fighters shot down 4 Israeli war helicopters in Gaza.”

Israel is a small country in the Middle East.

The Gaza Strip is a narrow territory that lies mainly within Israel but borders Egypt to the southwest. The strip is densely populated and very poor. The people who live there are mainly Palestinian. The Gaza Strip has been ruled by Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, since 2007.

Israel and Palestine have been in conflict for decades.

On 7 October, the day before the video appeared online, Hamas began an attack on Israel from Gaza. Rockets were launched and thousands of armed men crossed the Gaza border to kill a reported 1,400 people in Israel.

Israel responded with its own rocket strikes into Gaza and declared war on Hamas on 8 October. Thousands more Palestinians and Israelis have been killed as the war continues.

But does the video really show Israeli “war helicopters”, bombing Gaza, that were shot down?


Video clip of computer game

Major news events tend to attract false information on social media. This is a typical case.

Several comments on the video indicate that it was taken from a computer game.

“This ia playstation game bro,” one Instagram user wrote.

“Gaming vedio,” a Facebook user said.

Africa Check ran frames from the video through Google Lens, which searches for the source of images.

The video is from a video game and not the Israel-Hamas war.

The clip was posted on YouTube on 3 October, four days before the Hamas attack. It’s captioned: “Two combat helicopters shot down by anti aircraft defense – Arma.”

Arma is a video game. The clip of the two helicopters is from the game and was posted online days before the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

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