Footage does not show an attack on Israeli Embassy in Bahrain

25 October 2023
What was claimed

A video shows a recent attack on the Israeli Embassy in Bahrain following events in Israel and Gaza.

Our verdict

False. The video was posted online in 2012 and shows a police station in Bahrain, not the Israeli Embassy.

A video circulating online claims to show the Israeli Embassy in Bahrain being set on fire following recent events in Israel and the Gaza Strip. But this is not true.

The clip, which shows people charging towards a building and setting it ablaze, has been shared widely on social media with the claim it shows a recent attack on the Israeli Embassy in Bahrain.

However, while the video does come from Bahrain, it is over a decade old and does not show the Israeli Embassy. 

The footage appears in a video compilation posted on YouTube in 2012 with the title “Bahrain: A police station was besieged and burned—Sitra” (translated using Google). Sitra is an island in Bahrain. This compilation has the same overlaid music in the background as the social media clip.

The video caption says these events took place on 3 November 2012 and a United Press International article published on 5 November 2022 reports that “youths tossed Molotov cocktails at the Sitra Police Station”. There are several other reports of attacks on the police station around a similar time period. 

Moreover, a photo of Sitra Police Station on Google Maps shows the same distinct roof style as the building shown in the video—fact checkers at Reuters and AFP have also verified the video shows the police station. The Israeli Embassy is located in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, which is on the mainland north of Sitra. 

The claim that the video shows the Israeli Embassy comes after an explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in the Gaza Strip on 17 October sparked protests across the Middle East. Eyewitnesses reportedly saw protesters marching towards the Israeli Embassy in Bahrain before being dispersed, and reports state that the embassy was evacuated. 

There has been uncertainty over who is responsible for the blast, with Hamas immediately blaming Israel and Israel in turn denying involvement and saying it was caused by a Palestinian rocket. Rishi Sunak announced on 23 October that British intelligence and analysis found the blast was likely caused by a missile, or part of one, fired from within the Gaza Strip towards Israel. 

This is not the first time Full Fact has seen old videos being falsely associated with the Hamas-Israel conflict beginning in October 2023. Misinformation spreads quickly during significant global events and can be difficult to contain. It is especially important to consider whether something shows what it claims before sharing it—you can read more about this in our guide Israel-Gaza conflict: How to fact check misleading videos.

Image courtesy of Jacobs - Creative Bees

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.