A video from 2021 of a Pakistani politician threatening to bomb Israel is being shared with the misleading claim that it is recent after the conflict between Israel and Palestine began on October 7. In the video Pakistani Member of Provincial Assembly Sarwat Fatima talks about Pakistan's atomic bombs and says that these are kept for use to protect Muslims across the world and further adds that if Israel does not stop their atrocities on Palestine then, "it would erase it from the map of the world"
On October 7, Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza strip, launched a surprise attack on border towns and villages of Israel killing over 1400 Israelis and taking nearly 200 as hostages. Israel has retaliated with relentless airstrikes on Gaza. According to officials quoted in reports, more than 3,700 Palestinians in Gaza have died since the conflict started.
The conflict has also led to a deluge of mis and disinformation on social media platforms especially X (formerly Twitter) with several Indian verified accounts sharing anti Palestine and pro Israel misinformation. BOOM has debunked several such fake and false posts being shared on social media since the conflict began.
Read factchecks about the Israel- Palestine conflict on BOOM's WhatsApp Channels here
Aditya Raj Kaul, executive editor of TV9 News also posted the video on X with the text, "Pakistani Parliamentarian threatens Israel with Nuclear Weapons. Our Atom Bomb is to defend Muslims. We call on our Prime Minister to convey to Israel to end war in Gaza against Palestine or else we will erase Israel from the face of this earth"
In a subsequent tweetm Kaul clarified that the video is old without mentioning the year.
We ran a specific keyword search on YouTube using the channel name -- TLPOfficialStatus -- visible on the viral video and found the same video uploaded on May 23, 2021.
The YouTube channel is the run by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, a political party in the country. The video identified the woman as MPA Sarwat Fatima of Sindh province. MPA in Pakistan is the Member of the Provincial Assembly.
At the counter 5.17 one can hear Fatima saying, "Pakistan is an atomic power. These atomic bombs have not been kept as placeholders but to protect Muslims and Pakistan. I urge the Prime Minister of Pakistan to warn Israel to end the atrocities on Palestine and capturing them; else we will erase Israel from the map of the world". This matches the viral video.
MPA Fatima said the statement in 2021, when widespread violence broke out in the region with riots in the region and Hamas launching rocket strikes on Israel; followed by retaliatory airstikes on the Gaza strip by Israel. The Israeli Defence Force also stormed into the Al-Aqsa mosque worsening the situation and causing further protests.
We further found a news story published by Pakistani daily Dawn published on May 22, 2021 about the Sindh Assembly session held during the time. The article reported that the lawmakers "condemned the state terrorism carried out by Israel in Gaza and demanded an immediate halt to the “genocide” of unarmed Palestinians" and further added that "Sarwat Fatima of TLP" among others spoke about the issue.
While the said viral video is old, Pakistan has repeatedly issued warnings to Israel and threatened to use their nuclear power against the country's handling of Palestinians. On October 16, amid the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel, Captain Muhammad Safdar, politician and the son-in-law of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called upon Muslims at a rally to prepare for jihad and added that "Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are not meant to be kept in safe custody, but meant for the whole Muslim world. We cannot sit quiet at a time when a major crisis is going on in the world," Safdar said refering to the Israel-Palestine conflict and Kashmir in India.