Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Israeli Sniper Captured Alive By Hamas Militants

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Israeli Sniper Captured Alive By Hamas Militants June, 2023

Does a video show an Israeli sniper captured alive by Hamas militants during the Hamas-Israel conflict that erupted on October 7, 2023? No, that's not true: The video was published on TikTok on June 10, 2023, months before the Hamas-Israel conflict with a caption indicating that it shows a U.S. Marine sleeping on the ground during training.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by @abbas_bi on December 11, 2023, with a caption (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) that read:

The Palestinian resistance captured a Zionist sniper in full military gear, from zero distance, by knocking on his helmet so that he would wake up and be surprised by them. They took him as hostage, may God grant you success in crushing them, disciplining them, and teaching them lessons they will never forget.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-12-12 at 10.19.39.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Dec 12 09:20:24 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories did a reverse image search (archived here) using Google Lens on various fragments of the video on TikTok. The results uncovered a version of the video (archived here) posted on TikTok by @the_peripheral (archived here) on June 10, 2023, accompanied by a caption that read:

Marine sleeping during training.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-12-13 at 11.20.22.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Dec 13 10:20:22 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories was unable to trace the video's origin beyond the June 10, 2023, version but this one does confirm the video is unrelated to the Hamas-Israel conflict.

The claim was widely shared here, here and here.

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  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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