A website that appears to be run by the Palestinian militant group Hamas may actually be linked to an Israeli propaganda campaign.
The site, located at the domain hamas.com, was first reported on by the Israeli news organization Haaretz on Nov. 19. And although the domain was registered all the way back in Dec. 1999, the site sprang to life earlier this month in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.
The website includes popular pro-Palestinian phrases such as “Support the Liberation of Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.”
Most notably, the website showcases graphic footage of what is said to be Hamas members engaging in violence against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Statistics surrounding the number of deaths that have occurred since Oct. 7 are also present.
“1,400 ZIONISTS CIVILIANS MURDERED – WOMEN, CHILDREN, BABIES,” the site says. “241 ISRAEL, US, EU CIVILIANS HOSTAGES.”
Hamas.com, however, is not the official website of the group. The organization’s actual website, Hamas.ps, has been down since last month. A hacktivism group known as the Indian Cyber Force took credit for taking the site offline on Oct. 8.
The website instead appears to be part of a propaganda effort by Israel. The domain has been posted on social media by numerous official accounts linked to the Israeli government.
Joe Truzman, a research analyst focusing on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East, also claimed last week that Hamas had denied owning the website.
“Hamas has been forced to issue a proclamation of fake news or, in this case, forged news, that the website Hamas.com does not belong to the organization,” Truzman wrote. “And notes that the site is rife with ‘distortion and fraud’ about Hamas.”
The apparent Israeli effort has received mixed reviews online. One user even noted that a picture purported to show a rocket launched into Israel by Hamas was actually just a SpaceX rocket.
“Among many amusing things about this website, I’d just like to note that this photo of a ‘Hamas missile’ on Hamas.com is actually a stock image of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch,” another wrote.
The image of Hamas rockets used by Israel does trace back to a photo of a Falcon launch posted to WikiMedia.
Domain registry information indicates that Hamas.com is currently hosted by the Israeli software company Wix, providing further evidence regarding the site’s true origins.
Regardless, some users are applauding the website’s perceived intentions.
“It’s not fake, just not run by Hamas,” one said.