Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a video from an American TV show during his cabinet briefing on the coronavirus epidemic in Iran, claiming the footage of bodies being thrown into a garbage pit had been shot in the Islamic Republic.
The video is a clip from a U.S. mini-series called "Pandemic" that was released in 2007. The clip has gone viral since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic after people took the footage out of context and claimed it was recorded recently in Iran, the Middle East's country hit the hardest by the virus.
Sources said Netanyahu showed the clip to his ministers during a government meeting on Monday, while asserting that Iran was hiding the true number of coronavirus-related fatalities in the country.
The prime minister said he had been shown the clip by his National Security Council chief Meir Ben-Shabat, who was later instructed by Netanyahu to send it to the ministers.
There was no effort taken to validate the f.
Raz Zimmit, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and an Iran expert said he had realized the clip was fake on Monday.
"It was shown to minister to illustrate Netanyahu's assertions that Iran was being untruthful about the real consequences of coronavirus in that country," he said. "We must hope that on more critical matters, vigilance is exercised and the validity of video clips from social media is checked."
The Prime Minister's Office said in response that only some ministers were sent the clip after they had asked to see it and it was made clear to the footage was found on social media and its authenticity couldn't be verified.