Video of anti-government protest in Tel Aviv shared as recent amid Iran attack

By: Azra Ali
April 17 2024

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Video of anti-government protest in Tel Aviv shared as recent amid Iran attack

Screenshot of the viral post.(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)


The Verdict Misleading

The viral video predates the attack by Iran on Israel and shows protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Claim ID d5769106

What is the claim?

As Iran retaliated against Israel with a series of missiles and drones on April 13, several old videos from Israel have been circulating online claiming to be from the recent attack.

One such video shows people holding posters and Israeli flags and covering their faces with their clothes to avoid the fumes around them. The video has been shared with the claim that it shows scenes in Tel Aviv after the attack by Iran.

A social media user shared the video on Facebook on April 14 with the caption, "Tel Aviv Now! #telaaviv #Israeliran #Irannews.” An archived version of the post can be found here.

Screenshot of the viral post. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

However, the video has been online since April 7, 2024, and shows a protest in Tel Aviv demanding the resignation of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

How did we verify this? 

A reverse image search led us to a post by an X (formerly Twitter) account called Sprinterfactory, which shared the now-viral video on April 7, 2024. The video was captioned, “Anti-government protest in Tel Aviv.” This indicated that the viral video had been online before the attack by Iran on April 13.

Taking a hint from this, we found reports by several media outlets stating that anti-government protests broke out in Tel Aviv on April 6, demanding the resignation of Netanhayu.

According to a BBC report dated April 7, 2024, thousands of Israelis staged protests in Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) recovered the body of one of the hostages held captive by Hamas after the October 7 attack, Elad Katzir, from Gaza. The report stated that the protesters expressed their frustration with the Israeli government over its failure to free the hostages held by Hamas and demanded the government establish a hostage deal. According to the report, the police later "forcibly dispersed the crowd" in Tel Aviv.

We compared the now-viral video with the video report and found similarities. At the 0:09 timestamp in the viral video, we can see a protester holding up a banner with two faces on it. The same banner is visible at 0:34 seconds in the BBC report, where we identified that the banner has a collage of Netanyahu’s face with the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, with the text “Bibi Escobar” written on it.

We also compared a video report by Al Jazeera on these protests that was published on April 6, 2024. At the 0:47 second timestamp in the video by Al Jazeera, we saw a black banner with red and white text. We can see a similar banner in the viral video at the time stamp 0:03. The report also added that fires were lit by protesters, which presumably explains the smoke we see in the viral video.

We can see a McDonald's signboard at the time stamp of 0:56 in the video by Al Jazeera, which can also be seen in the viral video at the timestamp of 0:11 seconds.

The above evidence establishes that the now-viral video does not show the situation in Tel Aviv amid the Israel-Iran conflict but shows protests against the Netanyahu government over the conflict with Hamas. 

The verdict

The now-viral video dates back to April 6, 2024, and shows anti-government protests by Israelis in Tel Aviv and is not related to the recent attack by Iran. Therefore, we have marked the claim as misleading.

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