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Videos of police brutality protests in Israel used to show 'everyday' migrant clashes in Calais

Several social media users shared videos of protests in Israel to mislead others into thinking that the scenes took place in Calais, France.
Several social media users shared videos of protests in Israel to mislead others into thinking that the scenes took place in Calais, France.

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Videos of protests in Israel following a fatal police shooting of an Ethiopian-Israeli teenager were falsely shared by French right-wing groups claiming that the scenes were filmed in Calais, France.

In the videos, men are seen climbing onto highway barricades and throwing stones into the road to block traffic. Several are wearing hoods to obscure their face. The videos were shared in France by conservative social media accounts on July 13 and then tweeted by Maurizio Baldini, a delegate for the youth movement of the National Rally, formerly the National Front, in the southwestern French department of Charente-Maritime.

The posts claimed that the video showed an "everyday scene" in Calais, a town along the northern coast that is home to hundreds of migrants hoping to reach Britain. The word "Calais" also appears in the opening seconds of some of the videos.

The misleading videos were also circulated on Facebook in English, in Romanian and in German. The camps in Calais, known as "The Jungle", held as many as 10,000 migrants at its peak before being dismantled in 2016. Migrants frequently reported being harassed and attacked with pepper spray by police.

Social media posts that falsely claimed the video was filmed in Calais.

Video taken in Gedera

Several online users based in Israel sent the video to the FRANCE 24 Observers in early July after Salomon Teka, 19, was killed by an Israeli police officer. Ethiopian Israelis say they are victims of systemic racism in the country, especially during encounters with police.

The video was posted on July 2 on several Israeli media outlets and filmed at an interchange in Gedera. Three police officers were injured by stones during the clashes, according to local reports.

The FRANCE 24 Observers used Google Earth to identify the precise location under the interchange where the incident took place.

Google Earth view from the Gedera interchange. The site of the July 2 clashes can be seen below the overpass.

Baldini later deleted his tweets after social media users accused him of spreading fake news. "If you understood the events to have taken place in Calais, that wasn't my intention," he wrote, before posting a 2016 television report on Calais by the French news channel BFMTV.

Many posts – in various languages – were still on Facebook as of Wednesday July 17;