A video is being shared on social media claiming it as the inauguration ceremony of a cinema hall that’s playing an Israeli film for the first time in Saudi Arabia. In the post, it is also claimed that Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud inaugurated this cinema screening which is part of the 50 thousand such cinema screenings in collaboration with Israel. In the context of normalization of diplomatic ties between Arab Nations and Israel, this video went viral on social media. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Inauguration ceremony of a cinema hall playing an Israeli film in Saudi Arabia.
Fact: This video shows a crowd gathering in front of a discount store in Hafar Al-Batin city of Saudi Arabia. This incident took place in the year 2019. It has nothing to do with the cinema hall or Saudi Arabia’s ties with Israel. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
On reverse image search of screenshots in the video, photos with similar visuals were found in a video published in an article by Al-Marsad News website during the year 2019. In the article, it is mentioned that these photos show a large number of men and women who gathered in front of a discount store in Hafar Al-Batin, a city in Saudi Arabia. It is mentioned in the article that the reason for crowding is the offer of discounts in the shop, which prompted many to compete to enter and benefit from the offer.
Video with similar visuals was also found in a tweet posted by a user on ‘20 April 2019’. It can be watched here. In the tweet, he mentioned it as a sale in Hafar Al-Batin.
To sum it up, an old video of a crowd gathering in front of a discount store is falsely shared as an inauguration ceremony of a cinema hall playing Israeli film in Saudi Arabia.