Does a video of a man, described in a news report as a militant, show a staged arrest on the Gaza border because he is first seen blindfolded and in his underwear, then apparently putting his pants back on with no blindfold? No, that's not true: While social media accounts did not alter the Fox News footage compared to the way it was aired, the Fox News video contained an edit that broke the chronology of the scene. The Fox News correspondent who was covering the incident said that the man got undressed before being arrested, not after, and this order of events was confirmed by the other journalists.
A clip raises accusations against the American Fox channel correspondent of colluding with the occupation army to stage a play. #US
In the clip, the correspondent pretends that the soldiers successfully arrested one of the fighters. #Israel
However seconds pass, and the same person is seen returning and dressing comfortably, with the blindfold removed. #Gaza
This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:
The Quds News Network post used freeze-frames and graphics to alter the context of the scene.
The scene of the arrest began at the 00:29 mark in the video on X, as Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst was saying:
...the soldiers appear to be arresting a Palestinian man, they have him in handcuffs right now. And you can see they blindfolded him. And they are taking him away. You can see here, they're leading him away, they blindfolded this man. And it appears they have captured yet another militant who entered from the Gaza Strip. It gives you a sense of just how unpredictable all of this is. They don't know where people are hiding. And they could still be in the tree lines here near to the Gaza border.
At the very end of the correspondent's on-camera appearance (at the 1:17 mark), the clip showed the semi-naked man. Soldiers seemed to be walking away from him, but the shot was an obvious close-up that did not capture the scene in its entirety, and it was too short to establish whether the man was dressing or undressing at that point.
(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Nov 29 14:27:30 2023 UTC)
This video was indeed aired by Fox News on October 12, 2023, with a second-long cutaway from the reporter to the man seen with his pants half on.
But that appears to be an editing mistake, not the representation of the true sequence of events as they unfolded.
The half-naked man was seen in the cutaway for such a brief moment that it wouldn't register with most viewers of the live broadcast, and the rest of the shot (before the next cut) showed walking soldiers.
Yet, the video on social media put the emphasis on the moments where the man was seen in just underwear and blindfolded and where he was seen with pants half on by freezing those frames and circling the arrested person as if the story told by the reporter contradicted what was unfolding in the background at the same time.
But the very presence of the cutaway proves that the Fox News video involved some post-filming video editing, and that excludes the possibility that the camera was rolling uninterrupted, accidentally capturing the "staging" in the process.
The fact that the man was not allowed to leave the scene freely is confirmed by other news crews who observed the same event from close proximity.
This incident took place as multiple news crews were allowed to visit the scene of the October 7, 2023, massacre at Israel's Tribe of Nova music festival.
The CBS correspondent Holly Williams described what preceded the arrest at the 01:44 mark in her report:
Soldiers are here to guard the area from another attack and to clean up the carnage. Suddenly, a shot rang out. And then another. We've been told to get down. We don't we don't know what's happening at this point. There was several minutes of confusion.
Then, as a shot of the man in question on his knees, while removing his T-shirt, appeared on the screen, she said:
...a man surrounded and on the ground.
What followed was a sound bite of a female Israeli soldier walking toward the camera, explaining:
There was a person, was arrested. He had a knife. Everything is under control.
At the 02:20 mark, the CBS reporter continued:
The man apprehended today is being questioned.
The Sky News correspondent Stuart Ramsay, also present on the ground that day, described the incident in his report as well (at the 1:34 mark):
Machine guns raised, the suspect is told to undress. They worry he has a suicide vest. He had emerged with a knife in his hand. The man is then forced to the floor and is blindfolded.
Furthermore, the Fox News corresponded refuted the claim, too. He uploaded a fragment of the raw footage on his Instagram account. The unedited video showed that the man got undressed before being surrounded by Israeli soldiers whose movements -- even though only seen from the outside of the circle they made -- suggested that there was some sort of brief struggle as they blindfolded and handcuffed the man. Describing the raw footage, the Fox News corresponded wrote:
IMPORTANT: There's a post about our reporting circulating online regarding this clip from October 12th, claiming the man is a crisis actor. Here's the entire raw video. You can see the man who was arrested take his clothes off, before he is taken into custody. The truth is important.
He published the same explanation on his account on X as well.
Other Lead Stories fact checks about the 2023 Hamas-Israel war can be found here.