Fake IDF Facebook post claims Israel is responsible for Gaza hospital bombing

25 October 2023
What was claimed

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitted on its Facebook account that it “decided to bomb” a hospital in Gaza.

Our verdict

This is not a genuine IDF account and it has since been removed from Facebook. Israel denies responsibility for the hospital bombing.

Screenshots circulating on social media claim to show a Facebook post by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitting to bombing a hospital in the Gaza Strip. But this is not a genuine IDF post.

There has been uncertainty over who is responsible for the blast, with Hamas immediately blaming Israel and Israel in turn denying involvement and saying it was caused by a Palestinian rocket. Rishi Sunak announced on 23 October that British intelligence and analysis found the blast was likely caused by a missile, or part of one, fired from within the Gaza Strip towards Israel. 

Multiple online posts share screenshots supposedly showing a Facebook post by an IDF account admitting it “decided to bomb” the hospital. English translations of the post, which was written in Arabic, say: “Due to the lack of medical equipment and the lack of medical staff, it was decided to bomb the Baptist Hospital in Gaza and give them euthanasia death” (Full Fact confirmed this translation using Google Translate). Al-Ahli Arab Hospital is owned and operated by a branch of the Anglican Communion

A screenshot of this post has been shared with the caption: “The Israeli Army’s page making fun of the hospital bombing and clearly assuming public responsibility for it”, and another post sharing the same screenshot has thousands of views on X (formerly Twitter)

However, the screenshots do not show a post from a genuine IDF Facebook account. Meta confirmed to Full Fact that the account in the screenshot has since been removed from Facebook for being “inauthentic”. 

There is reportedly only one official IDF page in Arabic, under the name of the head of the Arab division of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, Avhicay Adraee. This account has more than 2.4 million followers and a blue verification tick, unlike the account shown in the screenshots. Moreover, Mr Adraee, confirmed on X that he had not issued any statement or comment about the hospital. 

The profile photo is another sign the screenshots don’t show an official IDF account. It uses the blue emblem of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit showing radio waves and a sword wrapped in an olive branch. But the official IDF pages in English, Hebrew and Farsi all use the IDF’s primary logo showing the sword and olive branch in gold in front of a Star of David, as fact checkers at Associated Press reported

We’ve contacted the IDF for comment and will update the article if we receive a response.

Full Fact has seen misinformation concerning the Israel-Hamas war take many different forms, including altered audio added to CNN footage, mistranslated subtitles on old videos of politicians, a fake US government memo, and misleading videos that predate recent events or come from different places 

Image courtesy of Israel Defense Forces 

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