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FACT CHECK: Yemen has not declared war on Israel


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FACT CHECK: Yemen has not declared war on Israel
The rebel group Houthi, not the internationally recognized government of Yemen, recently launched missiles against Israel but stopped short of declaring war

Claim: Yemen has declared war on Israel and fired drones and missiles.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video was posted on November 5 by a channel with 939,000 subscribers. As of writing, it has 658,195 views, 8,100 likes, and 1,681 comments.

The same claim was posted on Facebook on November 5 (with 502,000 views, 19,000 reactions, and 1,700 shares) and on November 3 (with 271,000 views, 10,000 reactions, and 676 shares) from an account with 21,000 followers.

The video said that Yemen has begun launching missiles and drone attacks at Israel as a declaration of war, and showed footage of a soldier supposedly making the announcement.

The video was posted after Israel intercepted aerial attacks near the Red Sea.

Adult, Male, Man

The bottom line: Yemen’s internationally recognized government has criticized Israel’s attacks in Gaza, but has not taken any actions nor declared war on Israel.

It is the militant movement group Houthi, which occupies northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa, that launched the missiles, but it also stopped short of declaring war, according to the Associated Press.

Leadership of Yemen: Yemen is in a civil war between the Iran-backed Houthi, now the de facto authority in Sanaa, and the Saudi Arabian-backed government. More than 377,000 people are estimated to have been killed since the conflict began in 2015.

Yemen’s internationally recognized government is led by the Presidential Leadership Council of Yemen, chaired by Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi. The government has condemned Israel’s military actions and expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people, but has not issued any declaration of war.

Support for Palestine: The Houthi had claimed responsibility for multiple missile and drone attacks on Israel. On October 31, a spokesperson for the Houthi forces said ballistic missiles were launched in what he claimed was the third operation in support of the Palestinian people, and warned that the attacks will persist “until the Israeli aggression stops.” Israel said it successfully thwarted the aerial attacks.

The Israeli military deployed missile boats in the Red Sea to deter potential attacks amid the Houthi’s vow “to help the Palestinians to victory.”

The clip of the military officer supposedly declaring war on Israel shows Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Saree, who does not represent Yemen’s official authorities or its internationally recognized government. Both the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse have fact-checked the video referencing Saree as a representative of the Yemeni government.

Despite the group’s warnings, experts say that the Houthi has not formally declared war on Israel, AP reported. 

Wrong details: The footage of missiles and weapons shown in the video was from a Houthi military parade in Sanaa on September 21, weeks before the Palestinian militant group Hamas’ October 7 attack.

Ongoing struggle: Gaza remains besieged by Israeli airstrikes as the conflict marks its first month, with the death toll climbing to 10,000. An estimated 1.52 million people have been displaced from Gaza as of November 5

The United Nations (UN) has repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire as experts warn that Palestinians are in “grave danger of mass ethnic cleansing.” Israel has previously rejected a UN resolution for a humanitarian truce, calling the demand “despicable” and that it was intended to “tie Israel’s hands” in its fight against Hamas.

On November 7, Israel said it is open to “tactical little pauses” in fighting to facilitate humanitarian aid, but again rejected calls for a general ceasefire. ([PANOORIN] Ano ba ang hugot ng Israel-Hamas war?)

Rappler has already published fact-checks on Israel and the ongoing war in Gaza:

– Kyle Marcelino/Rappler.com

Kyle Marcelino is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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