BBC Verify reports that these videos are actually different parts of one continuous shot and not separate, and the same man goes back and forth carrying different weapons on the pavement.
Questions are being raised about the authenticity of images of Palestinian prisoners who appear to be stripped naked handing over their weapons to Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, the BBC reports in an investigation into the circumstances of the events.
Initially, two videos of the same scene in one of which a man in his underwear obeys instructions to put down his gun have sparked speculation that it may have been repeatedly shot in separate scenes.
BBC Verify reviewed the footage and found that both clips came from one continuous take in which three guns appear to have been delivered in total. But questions remain about the exact circumstances and circulation of the videos.
Two separate clips depicting the same scene but with minor deviations were released on social media on Saturday, December 9. This led to speculation that they were shot in different takes. Some pointed out how the man in the video was holding the gun in a different hand in the two scenes.
Israel-Gaza war: Video shows Gaza detainees allegedly ‘surrendering guns’ – what we know https://t.co/GtX2knwwgR
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) December 11, 2023
BBC Verify discovered that these videos are actually different parts of a continuous series, not separate shots, and the same man goes back and forth carrying different weapons on the pavement.
In the video, dozens of other men can be seen standing across the street watching, also in their underwear, many of them with their hands up and holding IDs. BBC Verify found they are in front of a UN school in Beit Lahia, north of Tazabaliya refugee camp.
In the video, the man is seen placing a gun from his right hand onto the pavement. In the next video, with the sun lower, the man places a different weapon above them from his left hand. The still images confirm and corroborate this sequence, with one showing the first gun being placed and another showing the three guns and magazines emerging on the pavement.
Here are some questions raised by the video, the BBC reports.
It’s noted that the man is being held at gunpoint and is being instructed not to shoot, so it’s unclear if he’s “handing over” the weapons or just moving them as directed. Since it is already in his underwear and cannot be hidden it is unlikely that the Israeli troops did not know about these weapons, suggesting that this may have been done for the camera, rather than as an act of authentic surrender. We also don’t know if he, or any of the other people in the video, have any involvement with Hamas or the October 7th attack.
Last week, images of Palestinians being held in Gaza sparked a backlash – with some expressing concern over the treatment of detainees and the Red Cross saying all detainees must be treated in accordance with international law.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Over the past few days, dozens of Hamas terrorists have surrendered to our forces. They lay down their arms and surrender to our heroic fighters.
“It will take more time, the war is in full swing, but this is the beginning of the end for Hamas.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not immediately respond to questions about the conditions of these videos, but a spokesman told the BBC that the people detained were “being treated in accordance with international law”.
“It is often necessary for terror suspects to surrender their clothing so that their clothing can be searched and it can be ensured that they are not concealing explosive vests or other weapons.”
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