Biden’s Middle East balancing act between Israel, Palestine, rescuing hostages and humanitarian aid
President Joe Biden faces the balancing act of demonstrating full-throated support for America’s closest ally in the Middle East while trying to press the Israelis to act with enough restraint to keep their war with Hamas from widening. (Oct. 23)
The claim: Post implies video shows Israeli airstrikes killing a Palestinian medic and journalist in October 2023
An Oct. 30 Instagram video (direct link, archive link) shows a cameraman speaking to a medic outside in an urban environment amidst the sound of explosions. The cameraman asks the medic where they should go before an explosion strikes near them, causing the camera to fall to the ground.
“Palestinian journalist films the moment an Israeli strike kills him and a fellow medic on live TV,” reads on-screen text included in the clip.
Commenters appeared to believe the video was captured during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
“Let place the blame at Hamas feet (sic),” reads one comment.
Fact check roundup: Israel-Hamas war sparks many misleading claims online. Here’s what’s true and false.
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Our rating: Missing context
The implied claim here is wrong. The video does show the death of a journalist, but it was filmed during an Israeli airstrike in July 2014. It predates the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Video was filmed nearly a decade ago
The video wasn’t captured during an October airstrike by the Israeli military.
An extended version of the video was shared on YouTube by Al Jazeera on July 20, 2016, as part of a segment on Gaza. The Al Jazeera logo can be seen in the bottom-left corner of the Instagram video.
The Al Jazeera video’s caption states the clip was captured two years earlier, during a July 20, 2014, Israeli air raid in Shujayea, Gaza. The cameraman, Hamad, was filming paramedics aiding civilians until he was caught in the middle of a direct attack and killed.
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At the time, Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas were at war, in a similar way to the two parties’ ongoing conflict in Gaza. Reuters described the 2014 conflict as “some of the worst fighting” between the two sides, as Israel devastated Gaza neighborhoods with airstrikes and Hamas launched rockets at Israeli cities.
USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Our fact-check sources:
- Al Jazeera English, July 20, 2016, Gaza: The Last Picture | Al Jazeera World
- Guardian, July 20, 2014, Palestinian cameraman killed in Gaza while covering Israeli attacks
- Vice, July 23, 2014, This Palestinian Journalist Was Killed in an Ambulance on Sunday
- USA TODAY, July 23, 2014, Five reasons this Israel-Hamas war is different
- Reuters, Nov. 2, Israel-Gaza war: a timeline of the conflict’s history
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