A video accompanying a post is being widely shared on social media claiming that Palestinians were posing as ‘corpses’ for media. The alleged ‘corpses’ were arranged for the funeral, but the bodies keep moving under the white sheets. Let us fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video of Palestinians posing as ‘corpses’ for media.
Fact: A video with the same visuals was uploaded on YouTube on 28 October 2013 by Al-Badeel Newspaper claiming it to be from demonstrations by students at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. There are news articles published confirming the demonstrations by students. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When we performed a reverse image search on the screenshots of the video, we firstly found a Buzzfeed article-cum-quiz in German containing a screenshot of the video. A question with the heading read in English as, A video with “living corpses” from Syria shows that some people, acting as extras, only pretend to have died in a poison gas attack, the answer to the question was given as false and there is a subsequent explanation in the article how it was not from Syria but Egypt. A link given in the article takes us to a website that explains how the video was not from Syria but Egypt.
Taking a cue from the information in the Buzzfeed article, we found a YouTube video uploaded on 28 October 2013 by a channel named in Arabic translated to English as Al-Badeel Newspaper which belongs to Egypt. The title of the video in Arabic is translated to English and read as A representative presentation of the bodies inside Al-Azhar University. The description in the YouTube video again in Arabic read in English says that Dozens of Muslim Brotherhood students at Al-Azhar University organised a mass demonstration in front of the college administration building. There is another YouTube video uploaded on the same day with the title Al-Azhar students stormed the university’s administrative building in Nasr city containing similar visuals.
When we further searched for news regarding the demonstrations in Egypt in 2013, we found multiple news articles. Students at Al-Azhar University in Cairo’s Nasr City district staged what they called “anti-coup” demonstrations on campus on Saturday 26 October 2013 says a news article. Another article leading to these incidents in the City can be seen here.
Even earlier, the video accompanying the post was used in several other countries with different misleading claims, and several outlets have fact-checked and debunked them. Snopes had debunked the same video in 2018 when it was claimed to be of Palestinians. Another fact-check was done by AFP earlier in April 2021.
To sum it up, 2013 Video from Egypt passed off as Palestinian ‘corpses’ posing for media.