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No evidence unidentified flying object related to Israel-Hamas war

IN SHORT: In a video captioned “fear Israel”, a flying object is seen rising out of water as people scream in the background. However, the same video was online at least a week before Israel declared war on Hamas in early October 2023 and is unrelated to the conflict.

A video circulating on social media shows an unidentified flying object emerging from a body of water with the caption “fear Israel”.

The video can also be found on TikTok here, with over 260,000 likes and more than 6,000 comments.

Israel is a small country in the Middle East. Decades-long conflict saw new fighting when Palestinian armed group Hamas launched an attack on Israel on 7 October 2023. Israel subsequently declared war on Hamas, who control the Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip is a narrow territory that lies mainly within Israel but borders Egypt to the southwest. The strip is densely populated and has high levels of poverty. The people who live there are mainly Palestinians. 

Since early October thousands have been killed, scores of people kidnapped and more than a million displaced.

According to the 2023 Global Firepower report, Israel ranks 18th out of 145 countries in terms of military strength. 

But did Israel unleash a new form of military attack against Hamas, as the video of the strange aircraft rising from the water suggests?


Video found on TikTok days before the war

We found the same video clip posted on TikTok on 29 September, without the text “fear Israel”, about a week before Hamas attacked Israel. The post did not make it clear where and when the video was taken. 

It was captioned in Spanish with a mix of emojis, reading something like “UFO … recorded on earth”, and also added a number of hashtags such as #ufo #ufosightings and #videoufo. UFO stands for unidentified flying object

While it’s unclear what this video actually shows, there is no evidence it is in any way connected to Israel or its army. 

Fact-checking organisation Factly also found that the video was being falsely linked to the conflict.

We also noticed that the background noise in the video was very similar to the one in this debunked video, which claimed to show an “angel” in the sky in another war-torn country, Ukraine. 

We couldn’t find any link between the two video clips besides the background noise. However, the same audio track being used as in a debunked video clip is another sign that this video is being used to share disinformation.

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