Old video of Beirut port explosion shared as recent Israeli bombing in Gaza

By: Vivek J
October 16 2023

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Old video of Beirut port explosion shared as recent Israeli bombing in Gaza

Screenshot of social media posts purporting to show Israeli attacks on Gaza (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

This video is from August 2020 and unrelated to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Claim ID b0ef0cd1

What is the claim?

Militant outfit Hamas's attack into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7 escalated into a major war after Israel vowed "mighty vengaence" declaring a siege. According to the latest reports citing official sources, atleast 2,670 people have been killed in Gaza, and 1,300 have died in Israel at the time of writing. 

Amid this escalation, several pieces of misinformation have flooded social media platforms. One such video shared on X (formerly Twitter) claims to show Israeli bombing in Gaza. The caption of the post, which had over 106,000 views at the time of writing, read, “Isreal is Real Now... Israeli fighter planes launched a massive attack on #HamasTerrorists targets attacking #Gaza .. We want Clean Hamas Form World. Carry on Israel.”  There are several such posts with the same video, where some are in support of Israel and some support Palestine, and their archives can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Screenshots of the social media posts with the viral video. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this old video clip is unrelated to the recent conflict; and is from Lebanon. 

What did we find?

The video is going viral even though it has the text “Lebanon Explosion” written on it. 

Screenshot of the social media posts with the viral video where the text “Lebanon explosion” can be seen. (Source: X/Screenshots)

We conducted a reverse image search of the keyframes of this video and found several video reports about the Beirut explosion from 2020. A YouTube video shared by Sky News, dated August 4, 2020, showed the same visuals of the explosion as seen in the viral video. After comparing the two visuals, we confirmed that the two clips are identical. There are several other news reports with the same visuals.

Comparison of the screenshot from the viral video and the Sky News video from 2020. (Source: X/Sky News/Screenshot)

According to the AP News, about 218 people died in the August 2020 when a warehouse containing a stockpile of ammonium nitrate caught fire and caused a massive explosion. 

The viral video contains various visuals from the Beirut port explosion captured by different people. Similar visuals went viral during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and Logically Facts has previously debunked it. 

The verdict 

The viral video claiming to show Israel bombing Gaza is unrelated to the conflict. Multiple visuals from the Beirut port explosion in August 2020 have been shared in the wrong context. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before