FACT CHECK: Do These Images Show US-Made Explosives Found In Gaza?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X claims to show U.S.-made explosives found in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school.

Verdict: Misleading

The explosives were likely manufactured by Iran. XRVision said that the charges were likely Iranian-made.

Fact Check:

The IDF is investigating a strike that it says killed two senior Hamas leaders, but what Gazan officials also said led to a fire that killed at least 45 people, according to the Times of Israel.

Social media users are claiming that the IDF found explosives in a UNRWA school and that they are American-made. The image has a logo from XRVision, which appears to be a New York based cybersecurity company. The image says, “US Made Charge High Explosives Sourced From The Egyptian Military.”(RELATED: No, Video Does Now Show IDF Troops Celebrating Iranian President’s Helicopter Crash)

“UH OH! US MADE EXPLOSIVES FOUND IN GAZA- SOURCED FROM EGYPT? According to a report, the IDF found US-made M112 explosive charges in a @UNRWA school in Jabalia, Gaza. According to a report the US Intelligence confirm the batch numbers trace back to a US production sold to the Egyptians. -Via XRVison,” one user wrote.

This claim, however, appears to be misleading. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the images are from a May 27 press release from the IDF, which notes that a unit seized explosives. It appears that the weapons were found in a Gaza school in UNRWA bags, not a UNRWA school in Gaza.

“The fighters of the combat team are fighting against terrorist squads hiding in civilian guise and firing anti-tank missiles at them from inside schools. In the documentation you can see the dozens of weapons that the forces located hidden in UNRA bags in the school, and the tank of the 198th battalion that continued to fight after an anti-tank missile was fired at it,” the press release states, which Check Your Fact translated using Google Translate. Check Your Fact also independently verified with a Hebrew speaker that the press release says the weapons were found in UNRWA bags and not at an UNRWA school.

Juliette Touma, the director of communications at UNRWA, said that they “call for investigations into all these claims” and that they want to “remind all parties to the conflict not to use UNRWA or other UN facilities for military use.”

“Misinformation is a great risk. Spreading misinformation and false information about UNRWA is putting the lives of my colleagues who are on the humanitarian frontlines in Gaza, saving lives at a serious risk. This is in addition to tarnishing the reputation of UNRWA, the largest humanitarian organization in Gaza,” Touma said.

“Since the war began, UNRWA has subjected to systematic attacks to its reputation using misinformation, which have put the lives of our colleagues in Gaza…the West Bank and East Jerusalem at risk. We call on everyone to stop spreading misinformation and to check the facts before they share them including on social media platforms,” she added. UNRWA’s commissioner general also wrote a New York Times op-ed calling on Israel to stop its “campaign” against UNRWA.


The explosive says Charge Demolition M112, though the lot number is not entirely visible. it does state that the date is 2007 and the M112 is manufactured by the U.S., though it is also manufactured by Iran.

These explosives, though, appear to match ones seized by the IDF during Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on southern Israel. The terrorist organization used Iranian-made weapons during the assault, according to The Associated Press.

One image of the M112 charges seized by Israel after the Oct. 7 attack was published by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). They match images of Iranian-made M112 charges published by the Atlantic Council and Conflict Armament Research.

Faran Jeffrey, the deputy director at the Islamic Theology of Counterterrorism, posted on X that the images show “Iranian charges made to look American.” (RELATED: No, Vladimir Putin Did Not Say That Russia Will Support Iran If The U.S. Attacks It)

“So turns out those are Iranian charges made to look American. Here, side by side: The first image is that of American and the second image is that of Iranian copy (recovered from a cell in Bahrain),” Jeffrey’s tweet reads.

This was also pointed out by an X user whose bio states they are former “US Army EOD,” which is a military term for explosive ordnance disposal. Matt Schroeder, a senior researcher at Small Arms Survey, also said that the charges were Iranian-made.

“The explosives are Iranian as evidenced by different marking styles & M112 blocks recovered with other Iranian munitions in Iraq, incl. blocks w/ the same manufacture date as those seized in Gaza,” Schroeder wrote on X.

Schroeder told Check Your Fact that “blocks with identical markings were repeatedly seized in Iraq in the 2000s” and provided Check Your Fact with images Small Arms Survey obtained via Freedom of Information Act.

Matt Schroeder/Smalls Arm Survey

Matt Schroeder/Smalls Arm Survey

An image of the M112 explosive charge made by Accurate Energetic Systems (AES) shows three lines of text on the weapon, while the ones in the X post only have two lines of text. Other images of U.S.-made M112 charges also have three lines of text, rather than two, further casting doubt that the images in the X post show American-made explosives.

Jonathon Burns, an attorney for XRVision, provided Check Your Fact with a statement that said the explosives found by the IDF “exhibit ‘US-made verbiage on Charge Demolition M112 high explosives.'”

“Mr. Apelbaum’s point is that the C4 explosives exhibit ‘US-made verbiage on Charge Demolition M112 high explosives’ and were likely sourced/transferred via the Egyptian Military. These charges are likely produced by the Iranians (there is a similar batch that was captured by Bahrain on the Jihan 1. They have a similar appearance to US-made C4, likely to mask the explosives’ origins. These explosives have been pouring into Gaza in mass quantities (we have another batch # 8 produced in 2007 samples) from the October 7 attack,” the statement reads.

The statement further says that the “explosive charges, as well as other sophisticated weapons systems, were smuggled into Gaza from Egypt via tunnels, some of which are large enough to drive a vehicle through it” and that “[because] Egyptian Intelligence controls all tunnel traffic and goods entering Gaza via the Rafah tunnels, the US IC, State Department, White House, and CIA certainly knew about the explosives that were being smuggled up to the level of sourcing, batch number, and production dates.”

“Moreover, because explosives just like these were used in the October 7th attacks – attacks which also murdered American citizens – my client argues that Congress and the FBI must immediately open a criminal investigation into the source/distribution of the explosives and the parties in the Egyptian government/military and US government that were involved and knew about the tunnels and weapons smuggling operations,” the statement reads.

Burns also provided Check Your Fact with an image that has slightly different language from the one in the X post.

Provided by XRVision

The image’s text says,”US made verbiage on Charge Demolition M112 High Explosives Likely Sourced From The Egyptian Military.” (Emphasis added to highlight changes from the original.) It also states that the writing was “[i]mitating the verbiage and layout of a US made M112 charge.”

The text does not definitively state that the explosives are U.S.-made or sourced from the Egyptian military, unlike the text of the original image in the X post.

A defense official told Check Your Fact that “we are aware of the claims and have nothing to add” and recommended Check Your Fact contact the IDF and Egyptian sources.

The IDF said it had no comment. Check Your Fact reached out to the Department of Defense, who referred Check Your Fact to U.S. Central Command.

Update 5/30/2024: This article has been updated with comments from UNRWA and Small Arms Survey.

Update 06/05/2024: This article has been updated with a response from a defense official. 


Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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