On May 11, Ofir Gendelmen, spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted a video purporting to show multiple rocket launches in Gaza.
“Here is another conclusive evidence: the terrorist Hamas militia continues to deliberately fire rockets from inside residential neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip,” the tweet read.
This is false.
There were plenty of videos depicting Hamas rockets from the same day as the tweet, but this wasn’t one of them. The video, which was quickly identified, had been posted on YouTube on June 26, 2018, by a channel bearing the logo of the Free Syrian Army and the name “We Kneel Only to God - Daraa.”
Although Ofir’s tweet has since disappeared, while it was still up Twitter attached a tag declaring it “manipulated media.”
The Hamas rocket barrages, initially aimed at Tel Aviv in response to police crackdowns on protesters at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, were soon answered by Israeli airstrikes.
Estimates of casualties vary. According to one report, at least 72 Palestinian residents of Gaza and six Israeli civilians have been killed as of this writing, while 200 people have been injured by the rockets.
Violence has also spread to mixed Arab-Jewish areas, with rioters attacking homes, businesses and places of worship.
Despite international calls for a stop to the violence, rocket barrages and Israeli airstrikes continued on Thursday, May 13, and the Israeli Defense Force has begun massing troops on the outskirts of Gaza while calling up reservists.