Fact-Check: Is Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu his son to fight in the war against Hamas as circulated in viral photo?

October 14, 2023

By Raji Rasaki

Verdict: Misleading


An X-user Jiten sharma shares a post, claiming that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is sending his son, Avner Netanyahu to fight in the on-going war between Israeli defense forces and Hamas.

At the time of investigation, the post has garnered so many engagements with 443k views, 473 reports, 57 Quotes and 3,246 likes.  See the screenshot below:

The post has described the Prime Minister as a hero and a true patriot. Some users also agree to the so-called heroic act like @Rotimi_4G who believes it is heroic knowing that the son may not return.

However, some X-users have responded negatively.  For instance,  @Ikedichukwu Joseph asks “why not go himself?” while @Camila_only03  asks the prime minister to shelve his egos and put an end to the crisis.

The viral post has occurred against the background of the on-going war between Israel and Palestine that has entered day 5 as at the time of this investigation. 

According to Reuters, the fighting between Israel and Hamas, which launched a surprise attack on Saturday, is the latest in seven decades of war and conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that has drawn in outside powers and destabilised the wider Middle East.

The conflict between the state of Israel and Palestine has its roots around the disputed Gaza strip described as a hostile region. The conflict has so far seen at least 1,200 people killed in Israel and at least 1,055  including the citizens of Italy, Ukraine and the United States, with hundreds of thousands displaced and many cut off from food and electricity.

While reports have it that more than 30 Israelis are being held captives by Hamas militants, the Israeli military is also bracing up for an unprecedented 300,000 reservists for Gaza’s bombardment. 

Following the above background, the social media has been engaged with the claim of the Prime Minister of Israel purportedly sending his son on a “National Duty” to participate in the war against Hamas. How true is this? We verify!


The picture showing Netanyahu sending his son to fight in Palestine was subjected to a verification process using Yandex. The result shows that the picture has been published in 2014 by the Times of Israel .

The newspaper had published a story in December 2014, highlighting the beginning of the military service of the Prime Minister’s youngest son, Avner Netanyahu, in the Israel Defense Forces. The picture shows the Prime Minister and the mother seeing Avner off to the IDF’s induction centre near Tel Aviv.  See the screenshot below:

A further search on google image reverse also shows that the picture has been used here and in another post, chronicling the completion of the son’s military service in 2017.

Serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is often a blend of mixed feelings, denoting a mark of national honour, pride and anxiety. Just like the  National Youth Service (NYSC) in Nigeria, having to be drafted in the Israeli’s mandatory national service is often a great moment for parents who find it patriotic and fulfilling to see off their sons and daughters to the induction centre for the military services.

Conclusion: The picture being circulated by an X-user Jiten sharma purportedly claiming that the Israeli’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is sending his son., Avner Netanyahu to fight in the on-going war on the side of the Israeli defense forces against Hamas is an old picture. 

It was first published in 2014; hence it’s misleading.

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