A video purporting to show Egyptians crossing the border on foot to deliver water and food to the inhabitants of Gaza has become very popular on social media – Polish and foreign. However, the video is old and has no connection with the recent Hamas attack on Israel.
The wave of disinformation about the fighting between Israel and Hamas continues unabated. A lot of fake material appears on social media. We reported in mid-October materials from the first days after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, which misled public opinion. The European Commission is investigating, how Platform X deals with illegal and disinformation content related to Israel’s war on Gaza. EU Commissioner for Industry Thierry Breton announced on October 12that the European Union has sent a formal request to Company X under the Digital Services Act. The Commission is focusing on the spread of hate speech, violence and terrorist content on Platform X, examining whether its policies and handling of complaints about illegal content are lawful. Company X had until October 18 to respond. Earlier, Breton sent a warning letter to X’s owner Elon Musk, noting that the platform could be used to spread “illegal content and disinformation” related to Hamas attacks on Israel.
Recently, a short video has started circulating on the Polish Internet video, which shows crowds of people walking in the desert carrying large, white packages on their backs. You can see them all the way to the horizon. The video spreads with the message that Egyptians are crossing the “Palestinian border” to deliver water, food and supplies to the people of Gaza. They are supposed to support them in this way and express solidarity. One of such Polish-language entries, from October 14, has over 62,000 views. views.
“Total failure of the UN, UNICEF and all the thousands of organizations that pretend to fight for human rights, pretend to fight war crimes”; “It’s good that we are rediscovering our humanity” – they comment Polish users of the X platform. The film is also spreading on Polish Facebook. And on foreign accounts, this video has millions of views.
Video from at least two months ago
The recording was analyzed in October by foreign fact-checking portals: Lupa.uol.com, Logicallyfacts.com, Misbar.com, and in Poland they described them Demagogue.org and Fakehunter. According to these verifications, the same video was published on August 31, 2023 on TikTok by an anonymous Arabic-speaking user. This was the last video published on his profile – it has almost 4 million views there.
Therefore, the recording is not current – it was made at least five weeks before the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023.
It’s rather a different boundary
However, there is no certainty as to where these scenes were recorded. The user who posted the video at the end of August said it was happening close to the Salloum border crossing between Egypt and Libya. It is about 500 kilometers from the Gaza Strip. This place was also pointed out by The Libya Observer journalist Abdulkader Assad at the beginning of September comment on the X platform. However, another X user used Google satellite imagery to determine that the video was taken on the border of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Foreign fact-checking portals tend to believe that this recording shows people smuggling goods. The Logically Facts website found a screenshot of a frame of this film on one of the X profiles with the comment: “They are smugglers between Egypt and Libya.” He further established that on September 9, the Moroccan news agency IFADA published a video on YouTube with a description in Arabic that, when translated, reads: “A video showing smugglers between the Libyan and Egyptian borders sparked a wave of interactions on social media.”
Researching the context of the video, we found a YouTube account that published very similar videos on June 14 and 15, 2022, showing people walking with huge backpacks in a similar environment – the descriptions of both mentioned smuggling on the borders of Egypt and Libya.
Main photo source: MOHAMMED SABER/EPA/PAP/x.com