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The Israel-Hamas War: Operation Iron Sword
Massacre Denial

(October 7, 2023 - Present)
By Mitchell Bard

The Palestinian Authority sent out a statement to foreign ministries and the UN claiming that Israeli helicopters caused the deaths of the Israelis at the Nova music festival. Hamas made a similar claim after Haaretz reported that a police investigation determined that an IDF helicopter may have hit some Israelis when it fired at terrorists attacking the concertgoers. A police statement denied this had been the finding, saying that the helicopter arrived hours after the massacre began. The report focused on the bravery of police officers on the scene.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded: “Today, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah said something utterly preposterous. It denied that it was Hamas that carried out the horrible massacre at the nature festival near Gaza. It actually accused Israel of carrying out that massacre. This is a complete reversal of truth.”

The New York Times noted, “The Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack is among the most well-documented in history”; nevertheless, denial is spreading. “A small but growing group denies the basic facts of the attacks, pushing a spectrum of falsehoods and misleading narratives that minimize the violence or dispute its origins....These untrue and misleading narratives have been seeded on social media, where hashtags and terms linking Israel to ‘false flag’ — a staged event that casts blame on another party — tripled on services including TikTok, Reddit, and 4chan in the weeks after the attacks.” Furthermore, “It’s bleeding into the real world: Demonstrators have shouted the claim at anti-Israel protests and have used it to justify removing posters of hostages in cities like London and Chicago.”

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