Video of March 2023 protest against Israeli PM Netanyahu shared as recent

By: Soham Shah
October 17 2023

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Video of March 2023 protest against Israeli PM Netanyahu shared as recent

X post claiming footage shows live protests in Israel (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The drone footage of the protest is from March 2023 and is unrelated to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Claim ID 34150791

 What's the claim?

A video was shared on X (formerly Twitter) on October 15, 2023, showing zoomed-in drone footage of a huge crowd filling a junction of a main road. Some of the crowd carry an Israeli flag. The footage then cuts to a video showing Matt Gutman in Israel among protestors. The caption shared says, “Live from Israel now 👀 500,000 Israelis 🇮🇱 are protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 🚨 Israelis in Tel Aviv are now screaming “Benjamin is a murderer.” Archive links of similar posts shared on X and Facebook can be accessed here, here and here.

Facebook post claiming footage shows live protests in Israel (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the footage is from two different events; the drone shot at the beginning of the video is from an old protest, while the video showing ABC’s Gutman in Israel is recent.

Where is the video from?

We noticed that the drone footage has the watermark of The Telegraph in the top right corner. Using this clue, we found that the video was posted by The Telegraph on its YouTube channel on March 12, 2023, and showed a protest in Tel Aviv on March 11, 2023. Hamas’ attack on Israel and the latter’s consequent declaration of war took place on October 7, 2023.

The video published by The Telegraph, credited to Anadolu Agency, is titled “Israel's 'biggest ever' protests as Netanyahu govt persists with reforms” and shows protests against the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government’s controversial judicial reforms. The Telegraph report said that, as per estimates, half a million protesters had gathered in Tel Aviv on March 11 to demonstrate against Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the judiciary. “The nationwide demonstrations have been a regular weekly event for more than two months,” the report further said. According to the BBC, huge protests rocked Israel after the government planned to restrict the power of the Israeli Supreme Court and lower courts. 

The clip of the crowd in the viral footage is taken between the 0:16 and 0:30 timestamp of the video published by The Telegraph. We matched the street junction, the buildings on either side of the crowd, and the placement of the flags carried by the demonstrators in both videos.

Footage of a March protest against judicial reforms in Isreal from the The Telegraph. (Source: YouTube)

Similar visuals were shared by CNN on March 12, 2023, showing a massive crowd in Tel Aviv on March 11, 2023, further corroborating that the protest visuals are not recent. 

We found that the second part of the video shared on Twitter featuring Gutman was uploaded by ABC News on October 14, 2023, to its YouTube channel. The video's description said, “ABC News' Matt Gutman is amongst dozens of protestors who are demanding Israel do more to find hostages.” In the video, Gutman says that hundreds of people attended the protest, blaming the government and demanding more focus on bringing hostages home. The protest took place outside the headquarters of Israel’s military and defense ministry, says Gutman. The two clips have been edited together.

ABC News report featuring Matt Gutman reporting on October protests held for hostages. (Source: YouTube)

BBC reported on October 16, 2023, that 199 people had been taken hostage by Hamas in an attack on Israel that also left at least 1,300 dead. Gaza Health Ministry has said that retaliation attacks by Israel have killed over 2,750 in Gaza, as reported by Reuters on October 16, 2023. 

Times of Israel also reported on October 14, 2023, that protests were held in Tel Aviv against the government and called for Netanyahu’s resignation. At the demonstration, protestors shouted slogans like "Go to jail, Bibi!" and "Leave”, the report added.

The verdict

Drone footage showing a huge crowd of protestors is from March 2023 and is unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas conflict. This old footage has been edited and joined with a recently published ABC video report to make it appear as though the video shows a recent incident.

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