Israeli bombing has devastated large areas of Gaza, including residential buildings. Image by AP PHOTO

Palestine post puts Beirut blast amid Gaza footage

David Williams February 9, 2024

A video shows a huge explosion in Palestine and the resulting devastation.


Mostly false. While the footage of the aftermath is from Gaza, the clips of the explosion are of the 2020 Beirut port blast.

A social media post asking people to “pray for Palestine” and sharing graphic images of an injured child and bombing in Gaza, begins with footage of massive explosions.

The post is mostly false. While the subsequent footage is from Gaza, the initial explosions shown are of a massive blast that devastated the Lebanese capital of Beirut in 2020.

The Instagram video (archived here) about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas includes footage of a member of the press, a seriously injured child and multiple explosions.

The sequence begins with two clips of massive explosions — one shot from street level, showing parked cars and a unit block to the left, and a fierce explosion straight ahead that is so powerful it upends the camera.

The second clip is shot from a high balcony and shows an explosion several streets away that again is so powerful it knocks the camera over.

Instagram post
 Footage of a 2020 blast in Lebanon is included in a video post about the bombing in Gaza. 

The footage then cuts to a man holding a small child. The man is then seen in a press jacket.

That man is Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza who has documented the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. His work in Gaza, such as this footage of residential buildings being bombed, has been used extensively by the creator of the post.

There has been a campaign of bombing by the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza, since the war was triggered by the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

Reports say the bombing has been among the deadliest and most destructive in recent history. It has been reported that more than 70 per cent of Gaza’s 439,000 homes had been destroyed by the end of last year, while the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry has put the death toll at more than 27,000.

The first clips in the video montage in the Instagram post are not explosions in Gaza: they are from the massive explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020.

The Beirut explosion was caused by a fire at the port that detonated 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been improperly stored in a port warehouse for six years.

Beirut port
 The huge explosion at Beirut’s seaport in August 2020 devastated large parts of the city. 

The first clip in the Instagram video, shot from street level, can be seen in this ABC News report of the explosion in Beirut. The report is dated August 5, 2020.

The clip can be seen in the ABC report at 56 secs. A voiceover summarises the footage with: “People filming a warehouse fire were suddenly knocked off their feet by a massive explosion.”

Both the street-level footage and the high-rise footage can be seen in a compilation of clips from the Beirut explosion in this video on TikTok by user @davitoqro.

The @davit_oqro account shares a longer compilation of footage of the Beirut blast on Instagram. The high-rise video of the explosion is the third video in the sequence. The street-level video of the explosion is the fourth video in the sequence.

That Instagram post is dated July 10, 2023, several months before the war in Gaza began.

The Verdict

The claim that a video shows a huge explosion in Palestine and the resulting devastation is mostly false.

The clips of the aftermath are from the ongoing conflict in Gaza. However, the two clips of the explosion at the start of the video show the deadly 2020 blast at Beirut port in nearby Lebanon.

Mostly False – The claim is mostly inaccurate but includes minor elements of truth.

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