Back to Africa Check

CNN didn't fake Hamas attack in Israel. ‘Director’ voiceover added to real news report

IN SHORT: In a video showing a “CNN team” of journalists taking cover as explosions are heard, a voice seems to tell them what to do. But the audio was added to the video after its broadcast.

The US-based TV news channel CNN has been caught faking a Hamas attack in Israel.

That’s the claim about a video that began circulating on social media in South Africa, Kenya and elsewhere soon after the start of the Israel-Hamas war in early October 2023.

The video includes the CNN logo and breaking news text: “CNN TEAM TAKES COVER AS ROCKETS HIT NEAR ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER.”

It shows CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward and two men running down a road and then taking cover in a ditch. One of the men has a phone to his ear. Rocket fire is heard.

A man’s voice appears to direct the crew.  

“Look round as if you’re in danger. Try to look nice and scared,” he says, for example. He also says: “Can you boost the volume on those explosions, please?”

The video has been posted with comments such as:

  • @cnn got caught faking an attack by #Hamas in #Israel. Nothing these shameless hypocrites do surprises us anymore.
  • CNN got caught faking an attack from Hamas in Israel. This is how much the western media tolerate mediocrity!


The Israel-Hamas war

Israel is a country in the Middle East.

The Gaza Strip is a narrow, densely populated and poor territory within Israel. Its inhabitants are mostly Palestinian. Gaza has been controlled by Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, since 2007.

Israel and Palestine have been in conflict for decades.

On 7 October, Hamas began a sudden attack on Israel from Gaza. A reported 1,400 people were killed in Israel and more than 200 hostages were seized and taken back to Gaza.

Israel responded with its own rocket strikes into Gaza and declared war on Hamas on 8 October. The next day it closed Gaza’s borders, cutting off even essential supplies of food, water, medicine and fuel.

In late October the Israeli army began to invade Gaza.

By 10 November the war had killed more than 11,000 people in Gaza, at least 4,500 of them children. A further 2,700 people are missing.

But was the CNN video really staged?

Fake? ‘I know it is, I made it’

A closer look at the video reveals, at top left, the watermark of TheQuartering, a YouTube channel run by Jeremy Hambly. Hambly is known for his harmful views on women, race and gender.

The video was posted on TheQuartering’s X (formerly Twitter) account on 11 October. It was also uploaded on Hambly’s YouTube channel, but then removed for violating the platform’s community standards.

Soon after social media users took issue with the video, Hambly posted a follow-up message on X.

“A few people missed the fact that this is an into [sic] from the longer coverage lol,” he said. “Yes of course the voice over isn't real but the fake acting IS real.”

He also posted that the fake narration was by his video editor: “My voiceover editor @stevenvoiceover fooled national news with his meme intro lol.”

The video was posted on the @stevenvoiceover account on 13 October. When challenged that it was fake, @stevenvoiceover responded: “I know it is, I made it.”

The original video was uploaded on CNN’s website and YouTube channel on 9 October, two days before Hambly posted the altered version online. No voiceover can be heard.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.