Fact Check: Israel Did NOT Officially Admit Its Army 'Bombed At Nova Festival And Killed 364 Israelis'

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Israel Did NOT Officially Admit Its Army 'Bombed At Nova Festival And Killed 364 Israelis' Not Official

Did Israel officially admit that its army bombed the Nova Festival and caused the death of 364 Israelis during the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023? No, that's not true: Israeli officials called the claim "untrue" and "fake." Additionally, there is no evidence presented to support the assertion that the Israel Defense Forces attacked the music festival, resulting in the massive death toll.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on X (formerly Twitter) by Hend F Q on December 15, 2023, under the title "BREAKING NEWS: Israel officially admits the Israeli army bombed at Nova Festival and killed 364 Israelis." The post's caption says:

Israel admits to 'immense' amount of 'friendly fire' on 7 October.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Dec 19 16:06:10 2023 UTC)

The post provides no evidence to support its claim that the Israeli army killed scores at the music festival. Additionally, representatives of the Israeli government and the Israel Defense Forces denied the account circulating on social media.

Google searches

A Google News search (archived here) on December 18, 2023, using the terms "Israel officially admits the Israeli army bombed at Nova Festival and killed 364 Israelis," found no results matching the claim in the X post and no official confirmation of the purported bombing.

A regular Google search (archived here) also found no results that named official sources and matched the claim on social media.

Israeli Government Press Office

In a December 17, 2023, email, Ron Paz, director of the Foreign Press Department of the Government Press Office, called the claim "nonsense." He continued:

Untrue, all of it, top to bottom.

Part of a campaign that cannot view Israelis as victims.

Other posts on social media have been used to reinforce the false claim that Israel killed scores of its people in the aftermath of the Hamas attack. This post (archived here) published on X on November 9, 2023, purportedly shows an Israeli helicopter shooting people at the music festival. The post's caption says:

BOMBSHELL: Leaked footage from Israeli Airforce proves it was the IDF that took out its own citizens with Apache Helicopter on October 7 at the music festival....๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Dec 18 18:46:29 2023 UTC)

Israel Defense Forces

In a December 18, 2023, email to Lead Stories, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson's unit said the video was not an admission of Israeli forces killing its citizens. The spokesperson said:

On October 9, a video was published on the IDF's official Twitter account describing IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip. The purpose of the strikes was to stop the murderous terrorists from penetrating into Israel to commit brutal and inhumane crimes. The viral post of an airstrike on the Nova festival is fake. For reliable and verified updates, follow the IDF's official social networks.

The official IDF video mentioned in the spokesperson's response appears below.

The Hebrew text, translated by Google, says:

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 >>

The green video that appears in the post by Pelham was taken out of context from the IDF video shown above. The clip appears in the final 15 seconds of the original video.

Read more

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the 2023 Hamas-Israel war can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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