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Ignore these images of an army parade going viral on Facebook. They are AI-generated and don’t show the Israeli Defence Force

IN SHORT: Some Facebook accounts are sharing images of an Israeli army parade. But Africa Check found clues that these images were created using artificial intelligence (AI).

A Facebook page has posted an image with the claim it shows a procession of the Israeli army.

The post on 13 October 2023 reads: “The REAL Israel. Need we say more? AM YISRAEL CHAI!! Shabbat Shalom.”

“Am Yisrael chai” is a transliteration of the Hebrew for “with the people of Israel”. “Shabbat shalom” is a Hebrew greeting used by Jewish people to wish each other a peaceful sabbath

Israel is a country in the Middle East. Israel and Palestine have been in conflict for decades. Gaza, a narrow, densely populated and poor territory within Israel, mostly populated by Palestinians, has been controlled by the Islamic Resistance Movement or Hamas since 2007.

On 7 October 2023, Hamas launched an attack on Israel from Gaza. A reported 1,400 people in Israel were killed and over 200 others taken hostage.

The next day Israel responded with its own rocket strikes into Gaza and declared war on Hamas. By 29 November, the death toll in Gaza was reported to be over 15,000. At the time of writing, a ceasefire was in place with hostages and prisoners exchanged between the two sides.

The bloody conflict has drawn strong opinions from people worldwide. Misinformation and disinformation about the conflict have also proliferated online, some of which Africa Check has debunked.

The same image, prominently featuring the blue-and-white Israeli flag, can be found on Facebook here, here, here, here and here. Different images in the same style, also showcasing the Israeli flag and what would appear to be soldiers, are here, here, here, here, here and here

But are the images genuine? We checked.


Signs of images created using AI tools 

The images have a watermark on them that reads “Omri Shefi”. We searched for this online and found a Facebook page under the same name, showing the same images, and little else. It seems the account may have been created solely to publish these images. 

We could find no confirmation of who “Omri Shefi” might be, other than social media profiles set to private or showing only that someone by that name lives in Israel. 

Several features of the images indicate they may have been generated using artificial intelligence (AI). When you look closely at the image reposted most widely, many of the people shown have weird-looking or clubbed hands. AI tools are notoriously bad at rendering hands. 

There are also other anomalies when you look closely, including a woman who appears to be standing dangerously on a balcony edge, and people whose limbs or features seem to be twisted.

In this image, one of the soldier’s shoulders extends unnaturally and there appear to be more arms than there should be per person. A disfigured face is also seen in the background and an older woman appears to have no lower body.

Some soldiers seen in this image also have disfigured faces. Weird-looking faces, overextending hands and fingers are also seen in another image.

Once you start looking, it’s very evident that these images don’t really show the Israeli army on parade or Israeli crowds cheering its soldiers on. For more hints, read Africa Check’s tips for spotting AI-generated images and videos.

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