Hamas gunmen opened fire on an Israeli music festival as part of a multipronged attack on the country that set off a bloody war in the region. But claims that a video shows concert-goers fleeing the Palestinian militant group are false; the clip was taken days earlier as fans streamed into a Bruno Mars show in Tel Aviv.
“FESTIVAL ATTENDEES RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES #PRAYFORISRAEL,” says text over an October 7, 2023 TikTok video, which shows a crowd of people rushing through a gated area.
The posts are the latest in a flood of misinformation following Hamas’s unprecedented surprise attack on Israel. Palestinian militants fired rockets, gunned down civilians and took around 150 hostages — including Americans and other foreigners — in their initial October 7 assault.
Israel declared war and retaliated by shutting down food, electricity and water for the Gaza Strip, the densely populated, impoverished territory governed by Hamas that has been under a blockade since 2007. The Hebrew nation also launched a barrage of airstrikes and deployed tens of thousands of soldiers around the Palestinian enclave and on its northern border with Lebanon.
Thousands had been killed in the conflict by October 11, including about 270 massacred by Hamas fighters at the October 7 Supernova music festival near Gaza.
But the video circulating online is unrelated. AFP found the same footage published to TikTok as early as October 4, 2023 — days before the attack.
The American pop star performed that day at HaYarkon Park in Tel Aviv. A second show slated for October 7 was canceled after Hamas’s attack, according to news reports and Live Nation, a company that sells concert tickets.
“There was no incident on October 4 at HaYarkon Park, Tel Aviv,” Monique Sowinski, a spokesperson for Live Nation, told AFP.
AFP has debunked other misinformation about the Israel-Palestine conflict here.