FACT CHECK: Posts Claim To Show Israeli Soldier Throwing Puppy Off A Cliff

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter


A post shared on Facebook claims to show an Israeli soldier throwing a puppy off a cliff.

Verdict: Misleading

The video shows U.S. Marines, not Israeli soldiers. The video is also from Iraq in 2008 and is not related to the current conflict.

Fact Check:

Israel announced Jan. 2 that it would be pulling several thousand troops from the Gaza Strip, according to The New York Times. This withdrawal is temporary, though it is unknown if and when these troops will go back into Gaza, the outlet reported.

Social media users are claiming to show “Zionists” throwing a puppy off a cliff, with the video text identifying the soldiers as “American” and “Zionists.” One X user wrote, “ZIONISTS THROW A PUPPY OFF OF A CLIFF! Look at how evil these people are…”

This claim, however, is misleading. The video is not related to any current fighting. Through a reverse image and keyword search, Check Your Fact found that the video is from 2008 and shows a U.S. Marine throwing the puppy off the cliff, according to CNN.

The incident occurred in Iraq while the Marines were on patrol. The two Marines involved in the incident were later disciplined, with the Marine who threw the puppy off the cliff, David Motari, later being kicked out of the Marines, the outlet reported.

The incident has its own page on KnowYourMeme, a popular website that tracks internet memes and viral moments. BBC Verify reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh also debunked the claim in a Jan. 2 tweet. (RELATED: Image Of Israeli Soldiers Celebrating Hanukkah Appears To Be AI-Generated)

“This graphic video claims to show an Israeli soldier throwing a puppy off a cliff. While the video is genuine, it dates back to 2008 and was filmed in Iraq. The man in it is former US Marine David Motari, who was removed from the force after the video went viral on YouTube,” Sardarizadeh tweeted.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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