Claim: A picture shows an Israeli soldier holding two babies he rescued in his arms.

Fact: The image is not authentic. It has been created by artificial intelligence.

On 12 October 2023, the Facebook page ‘Jesus Daily Quotes’ posted a picture (archive) that appears to show an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier holding two babies in his arms.

The picture is captioned, “Miracle!! Found after 6 hours in a cupboard. Parents hid them. They’re orphans now.”

What’s going on in Gaza?

On 7 October 2023, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades — the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza — launched (archive) a “surprise attack” on Israel via sea, land, and air. In response, the Israeli government formally declared (archive) war on Hamas on 8 October 2023.

At least 1,400 fatalities have been reported in Israel, while health officials reported that more than 5,000 people have been killed in Gaza, Palestine, according to a report (archive) by the United Nations. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reported (archive) that over one million people — or almost half the total population of Gaza — have been displaced.

Approximately 40% of the fatalities are children, according to a 24 October 2023 report by the UNRWA.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported (archive) that 91 Palestinians have also been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and upwards of 1,700 injured since the 7 October attack.

Ever since the attack by Hamas, a flood of misleading, old, and out-of-context pictures, videos, and claims have surfaced in the media.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check analysed the image and found it to be inauthentic.

Firstly, the entire image — especially the background — has a painting-like texture.

Secondly, the flag on the Israeli soldier’s arm patch in the picture is depicted inaccurately. The Israeli flag is composed of a blue ‘Star of David’ between two horizontal blue stripes on a white background, with a width-to-length ratio of 8 to 11.

However, the shape of the flag in the picture is more square, with a larger than usual ‘Star of David’ and a light blue background instead of a white one. This version of the flag is completely different from the ones typically seen on the uniforms of Israeli soldiers in pictures released by well-recognised Israeli media outlets such as here (archive) and here (archive).

The official flag used on an arm patch is also visible in this picture (archive) published in a July 2022 United States Army Central (USARCENT) press release.

Additionally, the soldier has two right hands, which is a telltale sign of content generated by artificial intelligence (AI). Lastly, the absence of the trouser’s front zipper — typically seen in Israeli uniforms — and a visibly disfigured left thumb confirm the artificial nature of the image.

Virality

The image was shared here, here, here, and here on Facebook.

However, Soch Fact Check believes that the origin of this AI-generated picture was this tweet by X (formerly Twitter) user @EretzIsrael, who posted it at 9:06 PM on 12 October 2023, before any of the aforementioned Facebook posts.

Conclusion: The image is not authentic. It has been created with the use of artificial intelligence.


Background image in cover photo: Levi Meir Clancy


To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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