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Fact-check: Have rare anti-Hamas protests really broken out in Gaza?

Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans during a protest against the territory's chronic power outages and difficult living conditions in the South of Gaza in July 2023
Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans during a protest against the territory's chronic power outages and difficult living conditions in the South of Gaza in July 2023 Copyright AP/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright AP/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Sophia Khatsenkova
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Numerous social media users and Israeli government accounts have claimed that anti-Hamas demonstrations had been organised in the south of Gaza - a rare and unprecedented event. The Cube took a closer look at those claims.

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Multiple social media accounts including Israeli government officials have claimed massive riots have broken out recently against the militant group Hamas in the South of Gaza. 

"Gazans have had it with Hamas and started demonstrating in order to topple its brutal terrorist rule after it destroyed their lives yet again," tweeted Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli Prime Minister's spokesperson to the Arab world. 

The official accounts of the state of Israel as well as the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared the samevideo before quickly deleting it. 

The 20-second sequence shows dozens of demonstrators marching while holding white flags. 

Our Arabic-language team confirmed the protesters are heard chanting: “The people want the fall of Hamas."

A video filmed in July, months before the Israel-Hamas war

But in reality, this video was filmed in northern Gaza near the Jabaliya camp, according to the geolocating platform GeoConfirmed – and not in the South of Gaza as falsely stated in the social media posts. 

Moreover, the person who filmed and posted the video indicated in a TikTok post that the viral video was actually filmed in July 2023, months before Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October.

Ahmad El Otla, the author of the post, wrote that the clip was "filmed shortly before the war during demonstrations against rising prices and the blockade of the Gaza strip, it has nothing to do with the war.”

The user added that he uploaded the video "by accident," according to the translation provided by our Arabic team. 

Indeed, the date given by the author corresponds to reporting by Associated Pressand other news outlets.

Unprecedented demonstrations against difficult living conditions and lack of electricity were reported to have started on 30 July all around Gaza and lasted a few days. 

Other social media users argued that the Jabaliya camp, apparently targeted by the Israeli Army launched its offensive in Gasa after 7 October, no longer resembled the images visible in the video filmed in July 2023. 

However, according to France 24, satellite images taken by the Planet company before the war in June and in November 2023, do not show any destruction in the area where the video was taken.

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