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FACT CHECK: Video of ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ is just a game simulation


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FACT CHECK: Video of ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ is just a game simulation
A Facebook video misrepresented a February 2023 game simulation video as footage of the ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and the Palestinian militant group Hamas

Claim: In a Facebook video of the ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a man is seen shooting down an aircraft.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: A Facebook page named “Mabuhay Radio Japan – Worldwide” with 43,000 followers posted the video on October 8. The video, which is now unavailable, had 103 shares, 83 comments, and 413,000 views.

The caption of the video said: “Gyera sa Israel” (War in Israel). The post also mentioned the number of casualties due to the conflict, citing a report by Al Jazeera.

The facts: The misleading post featured footage from a video game simulation, not real video from the ongoing conflict. 

A reverse image search ran on Tineye showed that the video was uploaded by YouTube channel RIMStudio on February 27. It showed a game simulation of a KA-50 battle helicopter being shot down by an FIM-92F advanced stinger missile using Arma 3, a tactical shooter simulation game. 

The description of the video clearly states that it was just a game simulation: “#Shorts #ARMA3 #militarytechnology. It’s Just a Military Simulation. Not Real life. Thank you for watch.”

Similar video: Other social media posts bearing the same video have been fact-checked by other organizations, such as Factly and The Quint. Both news organizations belong to the International Fact-Checkers Network at Poynter. 

Al Jazeera report: Upon verification, Al Jazeera has in fact reported the casualties from the conflict on October 8, as cited in the post. However, the simulation video was not used in Al Jazeera’s same-day reportage nor in earlier reports.

Israel and Hamas:  On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, which the group said was due to Israel’s escalated attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. (FAST FACTS: Hamas, the Palestinian militant group ‘at war’ with Israel)

Israel and Hamas have been in a decades-long conflict, as Hamas advocates Israel’s destruction. As of October 10, the ongoing war has killed at least 900 Israelis and 687 Palestinians. (TIMELINE: Conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza)

Fact-checked: Rappler has published several fact-check articles on posts misrepresenting video game clips as footage of real events: 

 – Ailla dela Cruz/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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