By: Ishita Goel
October 17 2023
A Facebook/X post claiming the attached video shows Egyptians running with aid to help Palestines in October 2023 (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
A video from September 2023 purportedly showing smugglers at Egypt-Libya border is being shared as recent.
What's the claim?
Amid the Israel-Hamas war, social media platforms are seeing a surge in misleading and false content, alleging to show the conflict. One such video shows people walking with large backpacks in a barren, desert-like setting. Social media users claimed that the video shows Egyptians providing aid to Palestinians amid the war. One X user shared the video and wrote, "The people of Egypt 🇪🇬 are running towards the border to help the people of Palestine with goods and other supplies that will help the innocents of Palestine. Allah is with you my brothers from Egypt," and shared the video. Similarly, a Facebook user wrote, "Egyptians cross the desert into Palestine to carry water, food and supplies for the people of Gaza. These kind-hearted Egyptians are doing this despite Israeli threats and earlier bombings of the Gaza-Egypt border crossing that killed several people." The archives to the links are here and here.
Screenshot of claims made online (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)
What is the truth?
Using reverse image search, we found the video has been circulating on social media since August 2023. We found an X user who shared a TikTok screenshot showing a frame from the viral video, saying it was an old video and adding, “They're smugglers between Egypt and Libya.” Taking a cue from this, we tracked down the video on TikTok. On August 31, 2023, the user shared the viral video and wrote in Arabic, “#Al-Salloum_Egypt_Western_Borders🇱🇾🇪🇬.”
On September 8, 2023, a journalist from The Libya Observer, Abdulkader Assad, reposted the viral video and captioned it: "Hundreds of Egyptians are making their way to #Libya through joint border crossing illegally..." The original X post from September 7 that he reposted carried the video with the caption, “Libya/Egyptian border”.
We also found that on September 9, 2023, Moroccan News Agency IFADA posted the video on YouTube with a description in Arabic that roughly translates to, "A video of smugglers between the Libyan and Egyptian borders sparked a wave of interaction on social media…"
In our investigation into the context of the video, we found an account on YouTube that had posted videos on June 14 and June 15, 2022, showing people walking with huge packs in similar settings. Both videos carried captions mentioning smuggling at the borders of Egypt and Libya.
A comparison between videos showing people using similar kinds of packs in 2022. (Source: YouTube/X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
Although we could not independently verify the location or context of the video, the video predates the conflict between Israel-Hamas that broke out on October 7, 2023. Further, reports indicate that the video shows an incident at the border between Egypt and Libya, not Palestine.
Egypt and the Israel-Hamas war
Last week, after Hamas' deadly attack on Israel that left over 1,400 people dead, Israel retaliated with air strikes and blockaded Gaza, cutting off the supply of water, food and fuel. Since then, with Israel holding siege over the other entry points to Gaza, the Rafah crossing from Egypt has become the only potential exit point from Gaza. However, according to a report by Reuters, Egypt has said that while the crossing has not been officially closed, it remains inoperable due to air strikes by Israel. According to BBC, Cairo has blamed Israel for "not cooperating," even as aid for Gaza piles up on the Egyptian side of the border. Reuters reported that hundreds of tonnes of aid have been awaiting an agreement on aid delivery.
A video from September purportedly showing smugglers at the Egyptian-Libyan border is being shared with the false claim that Egyptians are moving toward Palestine with aid to help people in Gaza.