Video of rockets firing at night predates Israeli-Palestinian crisis | Fact check

The claim: Video shows missile attacks by Hamas against Israel

An Oct. 9 Instagram video (direct link, archive link) shows what appear to be rockets firing in rapid succession.

“Second night of missiles (sic) attacks against Israel,” reads text in the video.

The caption adds, “Thousand of missiles are being fired by Palestinian Hamas at Israeli civilians from Gaza. Share this with the world – what mainstream media refuses to share.”.

The video was liked more than 4,000 times in two days. A similar post on X, formerly Twitter, was reposted more than 1,000 times in three days.

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Our rating: False

The video is miscaptioned. It has been online since 2020 and appears alongside references to a conflict in Syria.

Video has been online since 2020

The Palestinian militant group Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel when it launched a deadly surprise attack on the morning of Oct. 7, overwhelming Israel’s Iron Dome, a missile defense system designed to detect and shoot down short-range rockets.

However, the Instagram video does not show a recent rocket launch against Israel. It has been online since at least 2020.

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The video was posted to YouTube on Feb. 28, 2020, by a Russian-language account. The title, according to Google Translate, “It was not calm in Syria this night,” followed by the date the video was posted. The translated description reads, “In the north of Syria. Night,” alongside multiple hashtags, including “#news,” “#politics” and “#peaceborder.”.

Fact check: Video shows Israeli airstrike in Gaza in May, not current attack.

There are screenshots of the video elsewhere online that also appear alongside references to Syria and predate the recent attacks.

While it’s not clear exactly what the video depicts, it was posted to YouTube on the same day that multiple news outlets reported about an escalating conflict in one of Syria’s northern provinces.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

PolitiFact also debunked the claim.

Our fact-check sources:

  • USA TODAY, Oct. 9, Maps and graphics show how Hamas militants’ deadly raid unfolded – and how fighting will get worse.
  • USA TODAY, Oct. 11, Hamas denies targeting kids; Israeli death toll rises; misery across Gaza: Live updates.
  • USA TODAY, Oct. 10, Did Hamas defeat Israel’s Iron Dome? Thousands of rockets were fired within minutes.
  • World on the Edge, Feb. 28, 2020, It was not calm in Syria this night.28.02.2020. (YouTube).
  • The Washington Post, Feb. 28, 2020, Turkey vows to escalate military action after 33 soldiers die in Syrian strike.
  • CNN, Feb. 28, 2020, At least 33 Turkish soldiers killed in an air attack by Syrian regime, Turkish governor says.
  • Al Jazeera, Feb. 28, 2020, 33 Turkish soldiers killed in Syrian air raid in Idlib.
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