A video showing what looks like several dead bodies covered in shrouds is viral on social media. On X (formerly Twitter), users have shared the video linking it to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and pointing out that one of the ‘corpses’ can be seen moving its arm. The users claim that it is a staged scene showing fake dead bodies arranged by Hamas to support Palestine’s claims of death and destruction.

An X user named @ipinkushukla shared the video stating “Al Jazeera has done such amazing shooting that even the dead body of Hamas is itching due to the heat of the camera.”

Verified X users @MeghUpdates and @KreatelyMedia, who are often found sharing misinformation on the platform, were among others who shared the video with similar claims.

Another verified user named Samira, too, shared the video with the same claim.

Same Video Viral Earlier As Well

In 2021, Facebook users Hiren Savani and Uday Kumar Sharma, BJP’s Ashish Mehta and Shwetabh Pathak posted the video with the same narrative.

Twitter user @MirYanaSY amplified the claim as well.

The video is viral on Facebook. Alt News also received verification requests on its official WhatsApp number (7600011160).

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Fact Check

Alt News broke the video into multiple keyframes using the digital verification tool InVid. Upon reverse searching one of the keyframes, we found the same video posted by the YouTube channel ‘Elbadil newspaper’ on October 28, 2013. The title of the video reads, “A representative show of bodies inside Al-Azhar University”. Another YouTube channel – ‘Akhbar El Yom Tv‘ – also posted the video on October 28, 2013.

On the basis of the YouTube videos, we performed a keyword search in Arabic and found that the video is indeed from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. The students were demonstrating against police and army by posing as corpses.

This is not the first time this video was shared with a false narrative. In March 2014, the Egyptian channel El Balad TV had linked the video with the 2013 Rabaa massacre.

The video was falsely shared as a chemical attack in Syria and Palestine in 2018. It frequently goes viral in Egypt as well. International news agency AFP had debunked the video in April 2021 when it went viral in Egypt with a different misleading claim.

Moreover, Syrian fact-checking agency Verify-sy, Dogrula.org, Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research (DFR) Lab, and Arabic fact-checking organization Misbar have also published reports fact-checking the video.

Therefore, a video from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University where students protested against police and army by posing as dead bodies in 2013 is viral as Palestinians faking deaths.

The readers should note that the amplification of such images can be seen as part of a larger effort by pro-Israel influencers and social media users to call into question Palestine’s claims of the human cost of the war on their side. The official X handles of the state of Israel and its associated offices were previously found trying to pass off footage of a dead 4-year-old child from Gaza as a ‘doll’. More recently, Israel mocked a survivor of a July invasion by its forces of a refugee camp in West Bank by calling him an ‘actor’. In yet another instance, a Halloween image from Thailand was used by pro-Israel users to claim it was a ‘fake war victim’ from Gaza pretending to be dead.

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About the Author

Abhishek is a senior fact-checking journalist and researcher at Alt News. He has a keen interest in information verification and technology. He is always eager to learn new skills, explore new OSINT tools and techniques. Prior to joining Alt News, he worked in the field of content development and analysis with a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).