Iron Dome video predates Israel's war with Hamas

Israel's Iron Dome air defense system has been intercepting rockets from Hamas since the Palestinian militant organization attacked the country in early October 2023, ushering in a war that has already killed thousands. But a video on social media showing the aerial shield in action is not from the recent conflict; it was posted in 2021 during hostilities near the Gaza Strip.

"#BREAKING #Israel #Palestine Iron Dome active at this moment," says an October 8, 2023 post on X, formerly known as Twitter, with thousands of interactions.

The same clip circulated on Instagram as Israel pounded Gaza with air strikes in response to an October 7 surprise attack in which Palestinian militants killed more than 1,200 people and took about 150 hostages. More than 1,350 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, which leveled entire city blocks and destroyed thousands of buildings, while Hamas has fired more than 5,000 rockets at Israel.

On TikTok, the video spread October 9 with a voiceover saying the rockets were intercepted "during a second night of fighting" after Hamas's unprecedented multi-pronged assault.

Screenshot from X taken October 12, 2023

Israel has used its Iron Dome to protect against rocket attacks in an intensifying war with the Palestinian militant organization.

But the footage shared online is more than two years old.

An identical clip circulated on Facebook in May 2021 (archived here). The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) also posted the video (archived here).

"4,000 rockets fired at Israel in 10 days," the IDF said in a May 19, 2021 post on X (archived here).

Israel and Palestinian militants announced a truce on May 21 of that year after a spate of violence that saw Israeli jets pound the Gaza Strip while fighters there fired thousands of rockets into the country. The strikes followed days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in east Jerusalem stemming in part from a years-long bid by Jewish settlers to take over Arab homes.

Although the clip shared online is not recent, AFP and other news organizations have captured images of the Iron Dome blocking rockets from Gaza.

A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza as an Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome defense missile system attempts to intercept them over the city of Netivot in southern Israel on October 8, 2023 ( AFP / MAHMUD HAMS)
A rocket fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense system over Sderot on October 8, 2023 ( AFP / JACK GUEZ)



On October 12, Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv in response to Israeli air strikes near the Al-Shati camp near the blockaded strip's north.

More of AFP's reporting on misinformation about the Israel-Hamas conflict is available here.

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