FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show An Israeli Helicopter Shot Down By Hamas?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows an Israeli helicopter shot down by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Verdict: False

The video appears to show a government helicopter that was shot down by rebels in Syria in 2020, not an Israeli helicopter shot down in 2021.

Fact Check:

The video clip shows a helicopter on fire flying through the air for a few moments before fracturing into pieces and plummeting to the ground. “Hamas shot Israeli helicopter down and killed 5 officers,” reads the video’s caption.

Hamas and Israel recently engaged in an 11-day conflict that ended after a ceasefire went into effect on May 21, according to CNN. The fighting left at least 248 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead, Reuters reported. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Hamas Rockets Landing In The Gaza Strip?)

Through a reverse image search of key frames, Check Your Fact discovered the video dates back to February 2020, over a year before the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out this month. The same footage appears in a Feb. 11, 2020 Sky News post titled “Syrian military helicopter shot down by rebels.” The caption of the video on the Sky News website states Syrian rebels in Idlib in northern Syria “shot down a military helicopter,” resulting in the deaths of two crew members.

In February 2020, the Associated Press published on YouTube a similar video – titled “Syria rebels claim downing of government chopper” – that appears to show the same incident from a different angle. The Associated Press also published a story about the helicopter being shot down at the time.

Check Your Fact didn’t find any reports of Hamas downing an Israeli helicopter during the clashes earlier this month on the websites of Israeli news outlets such as The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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