Fact Check: Viral Image Shows Part of the Gaza Strip Left in Ruins by Israeli Reprisal Attacks?

X user @Sprinter99800
X user @Sprinter99800


An image shared on Oct. 10, 2023, authentically depicted the Gaza Strip left in ruins by Israeli reprisal attacks.


Rating: True
Rating: True


The image is authentic and was captured by Hassan Eslayeh, a journalist from Palestine.


After Hamas' Oct. 7, 2023, surprise attack on Israel by air, sea and land, social media users shared numerous photographs and videos on the topic. On Oct. 10, 2023, a photo was circulated online allegedly depicting "what the Israeli army have done in the Gaza Strip."

Our investigation confirmed that the photograph is authentic.

We first tried finding the source of the photo using the Google and TinEye reverse-image search functions, receiving no results. Most probably this indicated that the image wasn't shared until quite recently and was not yet catalogued by the search engines.

We continued our research by identifying the text visible on the video. Google Translate recognized the text as "تصویر حسن اصلیح", which translated to "The picture of Hasan Aslih." Searching for "Hasan Aslih" we found an X account with a handle @hassaneslayeh. It turned out that this account was the first one to post the in-question image, with the caption (we translated it using Google Translate), "Al-Rimal neighborhood in the central Gaza Strip."

The @hassaneslayeh account's bio read "حسن اصليح،، صحفي من فلسطين،، قطاع غزة," which translated to "Hassan Eslayeh, journalist from Palestine, Gaza Strip," and had over 258 thousand followers. We also found Eslayeh's profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram. Moreover, the author of the photograph in question shared a video showing the same spot, with the description "Al-Rimal neighborhood," further demonstrating the authenticity of the image.

"This is the Beverly Hills of Gaza. This is where all the leaders of Hamas have their palaces. Or should I say, had their palaces," other X user captioned the video. Drone footage shared by news outlets such as The Guardian and Reuters that documented similar damage in the Gaza Strip was consistent with what the in-question photograph showed. The Guardian's material, with the title "Large parts of Gaza City left in ruins after night of heavy bombardment," read:

Drone footage from Gaza City shows buildings reduced to burnt-out shells and rubble after one of the fiercest nights of Israeli airstrikes across the besieged strip. Fighting crossed into a third night on Monday, as Israel increased the intensity of its response to a Hamas attack launched on Saturday

Since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, Snopes fact-checked multiple videos on the topic. For instance, we debunked a video allegedly showing five Israeli or Palestinian children being held prisoner in chicken coop cages. Moreover, we explained the story behind a video posted on X purportedly showing a pro-Hamas demonstration in Barcelona. On Oct. 9, we clarified that a Tiktok video allegedly showing a "Hamas terrorist" making fun of a kidnapped Jewish girl was miscaptioned.


Editorial, Reuters. Drone Reveals Damage in Gaza after Israeli Strikes | Reuters Video. https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/drone-reveals-damage-in-gaza-after-israe-idRW860810102023RP1. Accessed 10 Oct. 2023.

Ibrahim, Jordan Liles, Nur. “Does Video Show Children in Chicken Coop Cages in Israel-Hamas Conflict in October 2023?” Snopes, 9 Oct. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/children-cages-video-israel-hamas/.

Kasprak, Alex. “Does Video Show ‘Hamas Terrorist’ with ‘Kidnapped Jewish Baby Girl’ in Gaza?” Snopes, 9 Oct. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/terrorist-with-lost-girl/.

“Large Parts of Gaza City Left in Ruins after Night of Heavy Bombardment – Video.” The Guardian, 10 Oct. 2023. www.theguardian.com, https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2023/oct/10/large-parts-of-gaza-city-left-in-ruins-after-night-of-heavy-bombardment-video.

WhatsApp Blocks Accounts of Palestinian Journalists in Gaza. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/25/israel-blocks-whatsapp-accounts-of-gaza-journalists. Accessed 10 Oct. 2023.

Wrona, Aleksandra. “Video Shows a Pro-Hamas Demonstration in Barcelona in October 2023?” Snopes, 9 Oct. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/pro-hamas-demonstration-spain/.