Separating fact from fiction on social media in Israel-Gaza: Part two

by in tech

You can read what now turns out to be the first part here.

Mossad's website was taken down by hackers

True. The website of the Israeli secret service has repeatedly been taken down by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks purportedly from Anonymous.

Several other sites have also been taken offline by overloading servers with too many requests.

Video of Hamas fighters tunnelling into Israel

Uncertain. This video allegedly shows fighters from the armed wing of Hamas arriving in Israel via a tunnel under Gaza.

The video might look like footage from a video game to western eyes but some social media experts appear to believe it's genuine.

It was posted online by the Shehab News Agency, a Palestinian media group that in the past has published Hamas propaganda.

However, the video could just as easily be described as Israeli justification for the conflict, given the stated war aim of the destruction of the so-called "terror tunnels".

Israelis scrawled "That's for cancelling the Backstreet Boys, you scum" on artillery shells

The translation is accurate, and the group did cancel a series of gigs in Tel Aviv, but unfortunately there's no telling if the photo was simply posed or digitally altered. This is the first instance we can find of the photo appearing online.

The world's first crowd-funded war?

In what is thought to be a world first, a member of an Israeli counterterrorism unit raised more than $20,000 to be spent on equipment.

Tzvi Wiesel said he would post a photo of the 97th Battalion, stationed in the West Bank, once the gear had arrived.

IDF soldier admits to murder of 13 Palestinian children, on Instagram

Almost certainly not true. Simultaneously one of the most horrific and tenuous claims relating to the conflict made on social media.

We can only conclude this is almost certainly a fake given the seriousness of the claims and that no official investigation has been launched. Tellingly, there is no trail to follow, with the IDF soldier supposedly at the heart of the claim having his Instagram account hacked and deleted as a punishment by Anonymous.

A death notice was issued for the spokesperson of an Israeli human rights charity

This is a definite fake. Sarit Michaeli is very much alive.

Jewish groups are angry at a cartoon published in Australia

They are:

A 'miracle baby' born from her dead mother has now died

Shayma Sheikh al-Eid in hospital

Shayma Sheikh al-Eid was delivered on July 25 after her 23-year-old mother died in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip from Israeli shelling.

But just days later the baby died due to complications and power cuts affecting the intensive care unit where she was being treated. She has been buried alongside her mother.

An artist re-imagined Disney characters as Hamas terrorists

aleXsandro Palombo's drawings

aleXsandro Palombo [sic] is described as an activist and artist. But we're not sure what point he is trying to make with these.

You can see more pictures here.

Finally, this image was tweeted by JoMa Sommarstrom, a Swedish broadcast journalist

It is, in this writer's opinion, one of the saddest pictures to emerge from Gaza in the last few weeks.

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