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Clip from Algeria wrongly linked to Israel bombing in Gaza

The clip predates the bombing


Claim: A video shows Israel bombing the Gaza Strip, following the recent escalation between Israel and Palestine.

Fact: The video predates the 7 October attack on Israel by Hamas. In fact, the video has been traced to Algiers, Algeria, and likely shows football fans celebrating.

What’s happening in Gaza?

On October 7 2023, the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, launched a “surprise attack” on Israel via sea, land, and air. In response, the Israeli government formally declared war on Hamas on 8 October 2023. 

At least 1,400 fatalities have been reported in Israel. Health officials reported that more than 8,309 people have been killed in Gaza, Palestine, out of whom reportedly 67 percent are children and women, according to data published on the website of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). More than 1.4 million of the total 2.2 million population of Gaza has been displaced by the hostilities, as per the United Nations (UN).

The UN has issued a warning about the dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, saying it has reached an “unprecedented point.” Hospitals are facing shutdowns due to shortages of fuel, water, medical supplies, and personnel. Food supplies are running low, with essential items expected to last for about 12 days. 

On 27 October 2023, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a major resolution on the Gaza crisis, calling for an immediate “humanitarian truce” and the protection of civilians.

On the same day, Israel intensified Gaza’s bombing as it launched a second phase with ground operations after imposing a communications blackout in the Palestinian territory.

Fact or Fiction?

On 9 October 2023, Facebook user, Hasan Arshad shared a video claiming that it shows Israel bombing Gaza, following the surprise attack by Hamas on 7 October.

The caption of the video is as follows:

If Russia did this in Kiev it would be all over the news and everyone would be screaming “genocide”, but it’s happening in Gaza and no one cares about the civilian casualties….

Israel is a TERRORIST state

#FreePalastine #GazaUnderAttack #AlAqsaFlood #Hamas #Palestine #Gaza #طوفان_الأقصى #طوفان_القدس

The 17-second clip shows fireworks, flares, and the skyline illuminated in red.

Through a reverse-image search, Soch Fact Check found that the video predates the recent escalation between Israel and Hamas. It was shared as early as 28 September 2023, in a now-deleted post on TikTok, as well as on YouTube.

Bellingcat, a Netherlands-based investigative journalism group, geolocated the viral video to Algiers (36.7601417,3.0574417). A comparison graphic below shared by them shows the Place El Mokrani, a roundabout in the city centre, from the camera person’s field of view.

Taking cues from comments on social media, Soch Fact Check searched on Google with the term “MC algiers celebration”. The search surfaced a tweet from 9 August 2023, containing footage that shows similar scenes, the tweet states that the clips are from a celebration of the 102nd anniversary of the Algiers-based football club, Mouloudia Alger

We found numerous clips, here, here, here, and here on YouTube, depicting Algerian football fans celebrating with vibrant red fireworks on various occasions, spanning as far back as 2015.


The video can be found here, here and here on Facebook.

On X, it was shared with the caption “This is not Diwali fireworks. This is Israel’s response to Hamas”, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

It was posted here and here on TikTok overlaid with the text, “War started”.

Conclusion: The viral video has been wrongly linked to the recent Israel-Hamas escalation. The investigative journalism group, Bellingcat geolocated it to Algiers, Algeria, where red fireworks like these are used. The clip most likely shows the 102nd-anniversary celebration of the Algiers-based football club, Mouloudia Alger.

Background image in cover photo: Reuters

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