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Video from Syria falsely linked to airstrike on Turkish Palestinian hospital

The video shows an airstrike on a Syrian hospital is 2016

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Claim: A video shows an airstrike by Israel targeting the Al-Sadaqa Turkish Palestinian hospital in the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

Fact: The video predates the current war in Gaza. In fact, it’s from July 2016 when a hospital in Aleppo, Syria was reportedly targeted by the government’s warplanes. 

What’s happening 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. 

At least 1,400 fatalities have been reported in Israel, and 230 people are held captive in Gaza as per Israeli authorities. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported tha over 14,800 people have been killed in Gaza, according to data published on the website of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Fact or Fiction?

On 1 November 2023, Facebook user Yasser Amarah shared a video claiming that it shows Israel “bombing the Al-Sadaqa hospital”, also known as the Turkish Friendship Hospital, in Gaza.

A reverse-image search of key-frames from the video led us to an Instagram post from 15 January 2018 carrying the same video. The caption of the post translates to, “O brothers, O sisters. Pray for oppressed Muslims.”

Further investigation led to  a video on YouTube from 9 August 2016. It was posted by the official YouTube channel of the Syrian Network for Human Rights with the title, “Aleppo- Al Ma’adi: destruction of Omar Bin Abdul Aziz Hospital due to regime shelling P3, 16 7 2016.”

The description of the video suggests that the Syrian government’s warplanes targeted Omar bin Abdulaziz Field Hospital in Aleppo’s Maadi neighbourhood  which resulted in severe damage to the building and equipment, as well as rendered the hospital inoperable while it was under the opposition’s control.

The timestamp on the CCTV footage indicates it is from 16 July 2016 with the text “AMC” superimposed on it. Taking cues from the text, we found a longer version of the video available on the Aleppo Media Center’s (AMC) Facebook page. The clip was shared on 31 July 2016, with the caption, “Moments documenting the crime: The air strike that targeted Omar bin Abdulaziz Hospital with several raids on the same day in mid-July” providing further evidence that the video documents an attack on the Syrian hospital.

Additionally, in 2016, the WHO condemned multiple attacks on Syrian hospitals. A statement published on their website stated that the Omar Ibn Abdel Aziz hospital, located in the Al-Maadi neighbourhood in the eastern part of Aleppo City, was hit on 16 July, a date that matches the timestamp on the CCTV footage of the attack, and reportedly hit a few days earlier on 14 July as well. 

While the viral video is unrelated to the escalation between Israel and Hamas, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship hospital was, in fact, “severely damaged” on 30 October and eventually “went out of service after running out of fuel” on 1 November following an alleged Israeli airstrike.

Turkey strongly condemned the attack on the hospital, calling it a violation of international law. The Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed its dismay, stating that despite sharing the hospital’s coordinates with Israeli authorities beforehand, their airstrikes caused damage near major hospitals, including the only cancer hospital in Gaza City. 

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) termed the attack on the facility “terribly concerning”.

Virality:

The video was found here, here, here, here and here on X.

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

Conclusion: The footage of an attack on a Syrian hospital has been falsely linked to Israel’s airstrike on the Al-Sadaqa Turkish Palestinian hospital in Gaza.

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