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Video of fake funeral was not taken amid Gaza fighting

May 13, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows a fake funeral in Gaza in 2021.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video circulated widely on social media accounts from Jordan in March 2020. Media outlets reported at the time that the video shows teens setting up a mock funeral as a tactic to get out of the house during COVID-19 lockdowns.

THE FACTS: Amid escalating violence between Israel and the militant group Hamas, social media users shared a completely unrelated video to claim that Palestinians were staging funerals to gain sympathy.

Israel on Thursday said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war, The Associated Press reported.

As the fighting ramped up to levels not seen since 2014, social media users shared a year-old satirical video from Jordan of a group of boys carrying what appears to be a body on a stretcher, falsely stating that the video shows Palestinians staging a funeral this week in Gaza. In the video, the group disperses when they hear a siren, and the person lying on the stretcher also stands up and runs away.

“Hamas tried to make a false funeral for a kid for tv... and than israel started to strike back... look what happend,” a false post on Facebook states. The post has more than 3,000 shares.

Another Facebook user falsely claimed that Palestinians set up a fake funeral to present a “negative image against Israel.”

In fact, the video first gained traction in March 2020 in Jordan. The AP reported on March 21, 2020 as COVID-19 death counts rose in Jordan, the country ordered all shops to close and people to stay off the streets.

During that time, multiple social media accounts, including news outlets in Jordan, shared the viral video, which made light of the strict lockdown measures.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536