Video shows scenes in Algiers, not bombing in Gaza

18 October 2023
What was claimed

The video shows the Gaza Strip following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Our verdict

The footage has been located to Algiers, Algeria, and was online before 7 October 2023. It’s likely to show football celebrations, which can be seen in many similar videos.

A viral video is being shared on social media with the claim it shows the Gaza Strip following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. But it actually comes from Algiers and predates events in October 2023. The clip is likely to actually show celebrations from football fans.

The video shows a skyline illuminated in red with thousands of small fires and the sound of explosions. It has been shared across social media platforms, including Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok with the claim it shows the Gaza Strip.

Multiple posts have the caption: “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.” Another post claims it is an “old video from Gaza”. 

However, the video does not show either current or past events in the Gaza Strip. The lights and explosions appear to be fireworks and flares.

Journalists at Bellingcat located the clip to Algiers using a roundabout and billboard that can be seen in the background of the footage, which has also been verified by fact checkers at Reuters. The video was also reportedly first posted to TikTok on 28 September—but has since been deleted—and was reshared on YouTube that same day, predating the recent conflict that began on 7 October. 

While the specific context of the clip is not absolutely clear, footage showing similar scenes was posted online on 8 August 2023 in celebration of the 102nd anniversary of Algiers-based football club Mouloudia Alger. There are several other videos showing Algerian football fans celebrating with bright red fireworks on many different occasions dating as far back as 2014.

Miscaptioned videos and images are a common type of online misinformation that can be very convincing and spread quickly during large-scale news events. We’ve written about other false and misleading claims about the recent conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip, as well as other global events including the floods in Libya, earthquake in Morocco and wildfires in Maui

It’s important to consider whether a post shows what it claims before sharing it online—you can read our guide on fact checking misleading images relating to the Israel-Gaza conflict here

Image courtesy of LBM1948

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