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False ‘narrative’ about Israel-Hamas war? No, 2020 clip of fake funeral during Jordan’s Covid lockdown

IN SHORT: A video of a person suddenly rising from a funeral stretcher, shared during the 2023 war between Israel and Hamas, is more than three years old and was filmed elsewhere. It has nothing to do with the current conflict.

Please note: This fact-checking report is about a breaking news story. Information was, as far as possible, correct at time of publication but may change rapidly.

False information about the Israel-Hamas war has been circulating online across the world, including in Africa, since the conflict escalated in early October 2023.

One example is a 33-second video posted online with two almost identical captions.

One reads: “How radical Islamists build narrative. A dead boy Suddenly comes alive hearing an air raid siren.”

The other reads: “How radical Israeli build narrative. A dead boy Suddenly comes alive hearing an air raid siren.”

The blurry video is just 33 seconds long.

It begins with eight chanting people carrying a stretcher with what seems to be a body covered in a white sheet down a road.

Nine seconds in, a siren is heard. The eight quickly put the stretcher on the ground and run out of frame to the right. The body then comes alive, throws off the sheet and runs off to the left.

The clip, with its varied claim, has been posted on social media in Nigeria, Kenya and elsewhere since 11 October.

Other captions include:

The claim can also be seen here, here and here.


A decades-old conflict

Israel is a small country in the Middle East, established in 1948 after the second world war as a homeland for Jewish people.

The Gaza Strip is a narrow territory that lies mainly within Israel. It’s densely populated and very poor. Its inhabitants are mainly Palestinian and predominantly Muslim.

Israel and Palestine have been in conflict for decades.

Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, has ruled Gaza since 2007.

On 7 October, Hamas began an attack on Israel from Gaza. Rockets were launched and thousands of armed men crossed the Gaza border into Israel to kill a reported 1,400 people and take more than 240 people as hostages.

Israel responded with its own rocket strikes into Gaza and declared war on Hamas on 8 October. At least 9,770 people have been killed in Gaza and more within the occupied West Bank as the war continues.

But the video has nothing to do with the October 2023 Israel-Hamas war.

Young Jordanian men’s ‘trick to get out of the house’ during Covid lockdown

Africa Check ran the first frame of the video through a Google reverse image search.

This eventually led us to a much clearer version of the clip, posted on Facebook by Roya News English on 23 March 2020, in the early days of the Covid pandemic.

Its caption reads: “Fake funeral! People still breaching the law despite the warnings.”

Roya News is a TV channel based in Jordan, a country that borders Israel to the east.

The channel’s post includes a link to an article about the arrest of 186 people who had violated Jordan’s Covid lockdown. Its first lockdown was imposed on 14 March.

A CBS report on the lockdown reads: “Every day at 6:00 p.m. sirens echo around the country announcing the curfew, which remains in place until 10 a.m. the next morning.”

On 20 March of that year, another three-day curfew was announced, again with air raid sirens.

A closer look at the clearer video reveals that, in the distance, another person can be seen running off as the siren sounds.

The video was also posted on Twitter on 24 March by the Arabic-language outlet



A machine translation of its caption reads: “Funny things #Corona ... Young Jordanian men invented a trick to get out of the house, so they held a fake funeral for their friend. This is what happened to them as soon as they heard sirens.”

The video has nothing to do with the current Israel-Hamas war.

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