Fact Check

Does Video Show Gaza Parliament Building Being Demolished by IDF Soldiers?

The Palestinian Legislative Council Building in Gaza had reportedly been captured by Israeli troops a few days earlier.

Published Nov 16, 2023

Updated Feb 15, 2024
 (Twitter)
Image Via Twitter
Claim:
Video shows IDF soldiers demolishing the Palestinian Legislative Council Building in Gaza, days after capturing it.
Context

While IDF soldiers were photographed inside the Legislative Council Building on Nov. 13, 2023, the video that went viral on Nov. 15 claiming to show its destruction is of a different building in Gaza. It is unclear at the time of this reporting if the actual Palestinian Legislative Council Building in Gaza has actually been destroyed.

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On Nov. 15, 2023, a video purporting to show Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers demolishing the Palestinian Legislative Council Building in Gaza, the official building from which Hamas' legislative body rules over the Gaza Strip, went viral:

This video has been the primary evidence put forth for the claim that the IDF demolished the Legislative Council Building. The only problem is that the demolished building was not the legislative building  — the video was filmed some four miles from it.

Shortly after the video had gone viral, online sleuths geolocated the video to a location in Northeast Gaza — a region named Juhar al-Dik that had been devastated by the IDF during the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza:

The Legislative Council Building at issue is not located in this now largely uninhabited region, but is instead located in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City. It looks nothing like the building in the viral video, and is shown here, shot from Aljondy Almajhool Park across the street from its entrance, in a user uploaded photo on Google maps:

(Google/Chavez Ghassan)

Images that went viral on Nov. 11, 2023, apparently shot from this same park, show IDF soldiers posing in front of that building:

On Nov. 13, Times of Israel reported that IDF soldiers had entered the building, and shared an image from social media of IDF soldiers in the main hall of that building:

On Nov. 14, the IDF announced they had captured several buildings that were key to Hamas' power, as reported by the Times of Israel:

The military said that troops of its 7th Armored Brigade and Golani Infantry Brigade captured several Hamas governmental sites in the Gaza City neighborhoods of Sheikh Ijlin and Rimal. Among the locations captured by the troops were the Hamas parliament, the government complex, and the police headquarters.

The video that went viral on Nov. 15 that purports to show the destruction of the above building, however, was taken over four miles away and appears to have no link to the government building:

Based on imagery published by the New York Times, the actual Legislative Council Building was destroyed sometime before Nov. 30, 2023.

Because the video in question shows the destruction of an unrelated building in Juhar al-Dik, however, the claim is False.

Sources

Fabian, Emanuel. "IDF Says It Has Captured Hamas Parliament, Government Seat and Police HQ." Times of Israel, 14 Nov. 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-proclaims-it-has-captured-hamas-parliament-government-seat-and-police-hq/.

"Breaking the Silence ' Testimony ' 'Check It out, There's Nothing at All Left of Juhar al-Dik.'" Breaking the Silence, https://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/testimonies/database/456701. Accessed 16 Nov. 2023.

Fabian, Emanuel. "Gallant: Hamas Has Lost Control in Gaza; Gunmen Who Fired from Hospital Entrance Killed." Times of Israel, 13 Nov. 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/gallant-hamas-has-lost-control-in-gaza-troops-kill-gunmen-who-fired-from-hospital/.

"IDF Soldiers Selfie, behind Them Is the Building of Palestine Legislative Assembly in Gaza." X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/aldin_aba/status/1723380637799772254. Accessed 16 Nov. 2023.

Israeli Military Forces Raid Juhor Ad-Dik Area In The Eastern Gaza Strip - Islamic World News. 30 Oct. 2023, https://english.iswnews.com/31469/israeli-military-forces-raid-juhor-ad-dik-area-in-the-eastern-gaza-strip/.

"The Hamas Parliament Building Was Demolished." X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1724814029355405462. Accessed 16 Nov. 2023.

Holder, Josh. "Gaza After Nine Weeks of War." The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2023. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/12/12/world/middleeast/gaza-strip-satellite-images-israel-invasion.html.

Updates

Update [Feb. 15, 2024]: Updated to add confirmation that the actual Legislative Council Building has been destroyed.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.