Fact Check: Israeli Defense Force Footage Does NOT Show Aerial Gunners Firing On Fleeing Supernova Festival Goers

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Israeli Defense Force Footage Does NOT Show Aerial Gunners Firing On Fleeing Supernova Festival Goers Not Festival

Does a compilation of gun camera clips show Israeli Apache helicopters firing on civilians who were running from the Supernova music festival during the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023? No, that's not true: Independent investigators with GeoConfirmed identified locations in the footage near one of the Gaza border fence breaches several miles away from the location of the music festival. This footage, which has been called "leaked," was actually posted on X by the Israeli Defense Forces on October 9, 2023.

The misleading claim alongside 14 seconds of footage from cameras mounted on guns was posted on X (archived here) on November 9, 2023, by @Megatron_ron and reposted an hour later (archived here) by @Partisangirl with a different caption. The @Partisangirl post with the identical caption but the identifying account information erased was reposted on Instagram by @lightrecordmedia on November 9, 2023. The caption, which includes links to two articles, reads:

BREAKING🚨: Israel admits apache helicopters fired on their own civilians running from the Supernova music festival.

'The pilots realised that there was tremendous difficulty in distinguishing within the occupied outposts and settlements who was a terrorist and who was a soldier or civilian... The rate of fire against the thousands of terrorists was tremendous at first, and only at a certain point did the pilots begin to slow down the attacks and carefully select the targets.'


(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Nov 15 20:15:27 2023 UTC)

Some accounts suggest this footage was leaked, or as @Megatron_ron posted on October 9, 2023, "Footage has emerged." But the footage was posted on October 9, 2023, by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) account on X, @idfonline. The grainy gun camera footage (pictured below) appears at the end of a 2:20-minute-long video (from the 2:06 mark to the end) The first portion of the video has high-resolution color footage of air assaults on urban areas. The Hebrew caption translated by Google reads:

Throughout the last day, Air Force planes have been carrying out extensive attacks along the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip, wreaking havoc on Hamas terrorists. In just the last three hours, about 130 targets were attacked using dozens of planes. The focus of the attack: Beit Hanon, Sajaya, Al Furkan and Rimal >>


(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Nov 15 20:15:27 2023 UTC)

An extensive thread was posted on X by the account GeoConfirmed on November 10, 2023. The website geoconfirmed.org describes their objective this way:

Geoconfirmed is a community-based geolocating platform with a global reach, focused on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Our platform was established on the first day of the conflict (24 February 2022) solely through the efforts of the volunteers. Our primary objective is to provide a scientific layer of geolocation data to visual content, which can be used for situational awareness, investigations, countering misinformation, and other purposes.

GeoConfirmed volunteers worked to geolocate places shown in the clips originally posted by the IDF. Contrary to some claims, the clips do not show the grounds or surrounding fields where the Supernova Festival took place -- which is about 3.3 miles from the border of Gaza and about 6½ miles from the geolocated sites. The gun camera clips show air assaults in the vicinity of a breach in the border fence. This breach is featured in an ABC News article about some of the confirmed breach points. Two of three clips were geolocated (0:00-0:03 seconds here and 0:04-0:08 seconds here) to either side of the breach near Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza, two kibbutzes that were attacked by Hamas on October 7, 2023. Neither GeoGonfirmed nor Lead Stories could identify the location shown in the third clip.

The Google Earth Pro map (shown below) has been marked by Lead Stories to show the two geolocated sites (circled in black) relative to the site of the Supernova Music Festival (circled in pink).


(Source: 2023 Maxar Technologies map screenshot taken on Wed Nov 15 23:45:51 2023 UTC)

The account of Danielle Rachiel is misrepresented as it appears in the Middle East Monitor article linked in the post. The article says:

More evidence comes from witness Danielle Rachiel, who described nearly being killed after escaping from the Hamas attack on the Nova music festival. As she drove to safety, Israeli security forces shot directly at her vehicle until she shouted in Hebrew to identify herself as Israeli.

Rachiel and Ronald Rozenfeld, the man who was driving the car carrying several other people from the festival, were filmed telling the account of how they escaped the terrorist attack that day. They speak Hebrew, but the video has subtitles. The video was posted on TikTok on November 2, 2023, by we_standwithisrael. They describe driving through fields to escape the festival grounds; when they finally find a road they are caught up in a parade of Hamas vehicles. Their tires are shot out and they can feel the car getting hot and starting to smoke. The subtitles read:

As we reached the roundabout we saw security forces. Israeli security forces! We saw a large vehicle with Hebrew writing on it, 'SECURITY FORCES'. The Hebrew writing is an important point because earlier as we were driving through the parade of terrorists their vehicles had writing in Arabic. We automatically held our heads down. We knew they'd be suspicious of us. A small beat-up car going up in smoke, no tires, racing at unbelievable speed from the same direction the terrorists were coming. Our forces began shooting at us! At this point the [cell phone] conversation with his parents got cut off. When our forces fired at us the car windows shattered and they could hear us screaming, 'Don't shoot! We're Israelis!' They immediately stopped shooting and yelled at us, 'Run! Run!' They put us in a mobile shelter unit.

Lead Stories has previously debunked another false claim that denies the number of people killed in the Hamas attack of the Supernova Music Festival. Other Lead Stories fact checks that mention the Hamas-Israel conflict are here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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