A video posted on the YNet YouTube channel shows an allegedly ‘staged’ evacuation of injured soldiers, which took place after Hezbollah fighters hit an Israeli armored vehicle with an anti-tank missile on Israeli-Lebanese border Sunday.
The Lebanese militant group claimed the attack “killed and injured” people inside, while underscoring that they deliberately did not interfere with the medical evacuation operation, The Times Of Israel reported.
The Israel Defence Forces initially made no comments, but several hours later claimed that no injuries were sustained in the attack and that the entire operation was staged as a form of psychological warfare designed to convince Hezbollah that they had ‘retaliated sufficiently’ for the recent Israeli strikes, according to The Times of Israel.
The video posted by YNet not only shows Israeli forces taking injured soldiers to a helicopter on stretchers, it also shows soldiers taking victims on stretchers to an ambulance after the helicopter lands. An injured soldier, who is allegedly ‘acting,’ is blurred out on the video.
The IDF claims have raised questions on social media, including by a Reddit user in a thread discussing the videos, wondering what the point is of staging an evacuation (allegedly to pacify Hezbollah), and then telling the world it was staged.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus initially claimed that the armored vehicle had been painted with a red Jewish star, identifying it as an ambulance, The Times of Israel report says. Later, he retracted the claim, saying that the vehicle had been used as an ambulance but was not explicitly marked as such.
The attack on the armored vehicle is believed to be in retaliation for airstrikes Israel conducted last week in Syria, killing two Hezbollah members. Hezbollah confirmed that two members were killed in that strike, according to The New York Times report.