A video went viral on Friday purporting to show someone with a rifle at the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza, which was held up as evidence that Hamas is using hospitals as a staging ground for military activity. The video was even promoted by Israel’s official account on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. But a closer look at the video reveals that it’s not a weapon. The video actually shows someone with what appears to be a police baton.
“Shot of Hamas terrorists inside Indonesian hospital in Gaza”, Israel he tweeted in the early morning hours of Friday ET
“Hamas endangers the sick, Hamas endangers the elderly, Hamas endangers children, Hamas endangers innocent civilians, Remember this,” the account continued.
But the video that has gone viral, which he initially uploaded on Twitter COGAT, the acronym for Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, was illustrated enough that it’s easy to see why some thought it looked like a weapon. A higher resolution version of the video is available at Al Jazeera’s YouTube page, makes it clear that it is not a weapon. It’s a baton.
The video has been viewed by over 4.5 million people at the time of writing and is the latest example of an online information war that has intensified since the October 7 terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas. Those attacks killed about 1,200 people, a revision below the 1,400 people initially thought to have been killed, according to figures from the Times of Israel.
Israeli officials insist that Hamas uses civilian sites such as hospitals and schools to stage military operations. But the Indonesian Hospital – so named because it was built with philanthropic funds from Indonesia – denies it is being used for military purposes.
“What Israel accused us of could be a precondition for them to launch an attack on the Indonesian hospital in Gaza,” Sarbini Abdul Murad, head of the charity that built the hospital, said in Jakarta this week, according to Times of Israel.
Over 11,000 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, with at least 4,237 of them childrenand while the White House has indicated that it would like more care to be taken to protect civilian lives in Gaza, the Biden administration has not signaled that it will do anything to stop the current campaign of daily violence.
Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken told reporters on Friday that “too many Palestinians have been killed” and that he would like to see more aid reach innocent people in Gaza.
“Much more needs to be done to protect civilians and to ensure that humanitarian aid arrives,” Blinken said, according to New York Times.
The White House is still pushing forward with a $14 billion emergency aid package to Israel, on top of the $3.8 billion the U.S. already sends to the country annually, the largest economic aid America provides to any nation in the world.
Why is so much money sent to Israel?
“Many decrees are used. A lot of military vehicles are going to be used up or destroyed,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. year magazine this week. “War is expensive.”