Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Actual Israeli Soldier Mocking Rafah Offensive Victims -- It's Artistic Performance

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Actual Israeli Soldier Mocking Rafah Offensive Victims -- It's Artistic Performance Art

Does a video on social media of a person in military uniform setting a tent on fire after circling it with a toy plane show an authentic Israeli soldier mocking Palestinian victims of Israel's 2024 Rafah offensive? No, that's not true: The footage does not document a real-life scene. It depicts an artistic performance.

The claim appeared in a video post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, on June 12, 2024. The caption for the video asserted:

The most moral Army in the world, taking the piss out of the Palestinians they are bombing. You can't tell me they don't have a mental sickness!

The video's text overlay said:

Israeli 'soldiers' once again

mocking victims of Rafah.

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

Screenshot 2024-06-14 at 11.22.38 AM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Fri Jun 14 11:22:38 2024 UTC)

The 18-second clip showed an individual, an apparent man, whose outfit resembled a military uniform. The person circled a small white tent while simultaneously playing with a model plane, making it seem in flight. At the 0:14 mark, the individual ignited the tent and then continued moving the toy plane up and down above the fire.

Contrary to the claims on social media, this scene did not portray Israel's 2024 offensive against the Palestinian city of Rafah, which began on May 6, 2024, as part of fighting with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The footage was recorded as part of an art project by a Polish artist, Igor Dobrowolski (archived here), whose name appears in the watermark seen in the video. Dobrowolski posted (archived here) the clip on his Instagram page on June 11, 2024, under a caption stating that the scene was staged:

Part 9 of artistic performance titled 'Most moral army in the world.'

Screenshot 2024-06-14 at 11.30.04 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Jun 14 15:30:04 2024 UTC)

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

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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