A video of fireworks lighting up the night sky in Algiers, Algeria during a celebration by football fans is being shared on social media with a false claim that it shows Israeli retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza.
The latest conflict in the Middle East erupted after Hamas launched a widescale surprise attack on Israeli forces as part of operation their 'Al-Aqsa Storm' on October 7, 2023. The Islamist militant group blew through a fortified border fence and gunned down and took several Israeli soldiers and civilians hostage. Hamas has justified the attacks calling them as the consequence of the desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the increased threat of Israeli settlers against Palestinians.
Since the unexpected attack on Saturday, around 900 people have been killed in Israel, which includes 260 people killed by Hamas gunmen during a music festival near the Gaza strip on the Israeli controlled side. Israel initiated retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza, resulting in the killing of nearly 700 people on the Palestinian side. Israel has called for a "complete siege" of Gaza blocking water, food, electricity, fuel and other essential supplies to the strip.
The viral video was posted by an Indian X (formerly known as Twitter) handle Ritu (@greenysoulin) with the caption, "This is not Diwali fireworks.This is Israel's response to Hamas . Well Done....Great Retaliation #IsraelUnderAttack#IndiaWithIsrael"
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The same video is also being shared widely on X with the same misleading claim.
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BOOM found that the viral video is from Algiers, Algeria and shows football fans celebrating with fireworks and not Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
We found several X replies stating that video is from Algeria of football fans celebrating with fireworks. Taking a hint from this, we then searched and found several similar videos of fans of MC Alger and CR Belouizdad football clubs celebrating with bright red fireworks at night.
We also found that the same video was posted on TikTok by an account Rami Ramos on September 28, 2023, long before the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, 2023.
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A comparision of the structures visible in the viral video and the ones seen on Google Maps in Sidi M'Hamed can be seen below
BOOM could not independently verify when the video was shot, however, we were able to establish that the video was shot in Algeria and not in Gaza during an airstrike by Israel.
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