Israel posts fake video of dog chase in Gaza tunnel

Unable to demonstrate any tangible military achievements from its weeks-long attack on the Gaza Strip, Israel has been reduced – once again – to sharing apparently fake and misleading video footage.

On Saturday, Ofir Gendelman, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shared this “must watch” video he claimed shows “IDF attack dogs go after Hamas-ISIS terrorists inside their tunnels in the Gaza Strip and take them down.”

“Hear the terrorists scream,” Gendelman added. Superimposed on the video in Arabic are the words, “Dogs chase Hamas dogs until victory.”

But Yoav Zitun, the military correspondent for Ynet, a major Israeli news outlet, quickly pointed out that the video was not from Gaza now but was in fact an old training video.

“I don’t know which Israeli official source is distributing this video but it appears to be from a preliminary test I conducted from Operation Protective Edge or from training from previous years,” Zitun wrote.

Operation Protective Edge is the name Israel gives to its 2014 attack on Gaza, its most brutal and deadly until the current ongoing extermination campaign that has killed more than 9,000 people, almost half of them children.

Gendelman has a history of posting fake or misleading videos. During Israel’s May 2021 attack on Gaza, for instance, he posted a video from Syria and falsely claimed it showed Palestinians in Gaza firing rockets from a residential neighborhood.

Notably, the video published by Gendelman on Saturday does not appear to have been shared by the official account of the Israeli military on X (formerly Twitter).

Others also pointed out that the video posted by Netanyahu’s spokesperson was almost certainly not what he claimed.

Israel has so far acknowledged the deaths of 28 soldiers since it sent ground troops into Gaza last week amid what Israeli leaders have admitted is fierce and difficult combat.

Israel has not disclosed the number of its soldiers injured but military experts point out that the wounded-to-killed ratio in armed conflict has historically been about 3:1. But in a modern army, that ratio can be as high as 17:1 – meaning far more soldiers are injured than killed, due to improved body armor and medical care.

If those statistics hold, then based on the combat deaths Israel has disclosed, the number of its soldiers injured could range anywhere from a low estimate of 84 to almost 500.

Resistance combat videos capture imagination

Israel’s desperation to demonstrate achievements – even by using fake footage – is almost certainly driven by embarrassment over how the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, is posting spectacular videos of the feats of the resistance on a daily basis.

The Qassam videos have shown its fighters destroying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles sometimes from point blank range. They have been aired regularly on Arabic-language TV channels and shared widely on social media.

The videos have had a major impact in the Arab world, presenting the Palestinian resistance as a credible fighting force capable of confronting, impeding and causing significant losses to one of the world’s most powerful armies.

They have further demolished the myth of an invincible Israeli military – already shattered by its rout on 7 October when its entire Gaza division collapsed.