Video does not show IDF destroying Hamas tunnels

20 December 2023
What was claimed

A video shows the Israel Defense Forces using a mechanical tool to “bury terrorists in their tunnels”.

Our verdict

The clip likely shows a tile lining of a chimney being removed, and pre-dates the current Israel-Gaza conflict.

A video with a caption falsely implying it shows the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) burying “terrorists in their tunnels” has been circulating on social media.

According to the caption with the posts, which have been shared on both Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), the video shows “another method by the IDF to bury terrorists in their tunnels”. This appears to be referencing the hundreds of tunnels beneath Gaza which are reportedly used by Hamas.

The footage in the clip is of a view down a narrow shaft in which a mechanised dangling tool is spinning at high speed and breaking apart bricks and tiles.

However, the video pre-dates the current Israel-Gaza conflict, and does not show a tunnel.

The same clip was shared on the forum Reddit four months ago—before the 7 October attacks on Israel—with the caption “removing the old tile liner from a chimney”.

Other videos of similar tools show they are used to remove tiles or bricks from inside chimneys.

While this video does not depict a tunnel being dismantled as claimed, the IDF has developed methods to destroy Hamas tunnels including using explosives to collapse or seal tunnels. Recent reports also state that Israeli forces are trialling flooding tunnels with seawater.

Full Fact has seen many examples of misleading images and footage relating to the conflict in Israel and Gaza, including a clip of a vehicle driving ‘through crowd of Palestine protesters’ which was actually from a 2020 Black Lives Matter march, and a video of an anti-government rally in Warsaw which was also mislabelled as a pro-Palestinian march.

Image courtesy of photoeverywhere.

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