Video does not show Mervaka tank destroyed in Israel
The video is most likely from the Russia-Ukraine war
Claim: Social media video shows debris from an Israeli tank known as Mervaka that Hamas destroyed.
Fact: The claim is false because the video is from 2022 and most likely shows a Russian tank destroyed by the Ukrainian army.
On 28 November 2023, a Facebook user posted a video (archived) with an Urdu language caption, that translated into English reads, “This destroyed tank is the world’s number 1 bomb-proof “Merkava” tank, manufactured at a huge cost of 16 million dollars.”
The 30-second video shows debris from the destroyed tank on a roadside.
What’s going on in Gaza?
On 7 October 2023, the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, launched a “surprise attack” on Israel via sea, land, and air. In response, the Israeli government formally declared war on Hamas on 8 October 2023.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 14,800 Palestinians have been killed and over 36,000 injured since the 7 October attack. Similarly, at least 1,200 Israelis have been killed and upwards of 5,400 injured. As per the latest updates, a four-day humanitarian pause between the Israeli army and Hamas came into effect on 24 November morning in all areas of the Gaza Strip, temporarily stopping attacks in exchange for the release of hostages, prisoners and aid.
Fact or Fiction?
To investigate, Soch Fact Check reverse image searched key frames from the video on Google and Yandex. The results on Yandex led to a news report published on the Ukrainian language website, Militarnyi, on 11 April 2022, well before Israel sent tanks to Gaza in November 2023.
According to the Militarnyi report, which includes the video being investigated in this article, the clip shows the aftermath of a destroyed Russian T-90A tank. The article states that, “the military emphasised that one shot from an anti-tank missile system was enough to destroy the Russian T-90A.”
Another Ukrainian website, War Observatal, also posted screengrabs of the key frames from the aforementioned video on 7 April 2022. The Ukrainian language report translated into English reads, “Ukrainian defenders turned the Russian T-90 tank into scrap metal. Video.” The article goes on to say that the video was shared on a Telegram channel on 7 April 2022.
Conclusion: This video does not show the debris of a destroyed Israeli tank. The video was found online as early as April 2022 and is most likely from the 2022 Russia-Ukraine war.
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