Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Bulldozer Destroying French Street Following 2023 Protests -- Video Was Recorded In Palestinian Territory

Fact Check

  • by: Madison Dapcevich
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Bulldozer Destroying French Street Following 2023 Protests -- Video Was Recorded In Palestinian Territory Israeli 'Dozer

Does a video show a bulldozer destroying a street in France amid the 2023 protests following the police shooting death of a teenager of North African descent? No, that's not true: Despite a text overlay that implies the video was taken during or after French protests, the clip in question is a video compilation that was originally published on YouTube on July 3, 2023, by the official Al Jazeera English page. It shows an Israeli bulldozer destroying a street in Jenin, in the West Bank, in July 2023.

The claim originated in a clip shared to Instagram on July 6, 2023, that showed a bulldozer pushing debris through a demolished street. A video overlay read, "Nahh France is getting outrageous," and a caption that accompanied the post read:

Ain't no way 😭 part 2

Below is how the post appeared at the time of this publication:

Screenshot 2023-07-10 at 21.59.47.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken Mon June 10 14:04:00 UTC 2023)

The above video was reshared on Instagram to suggest that the bulldozer was destroying a street in France following nationwide protests that arose after Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old French teen of Moroccan and Algerian descent, was shot and killed by police on June 27, 2023.

However, Lead Stories found that the original 51-second clip was first posted to YouTube on July 3, 2023, (archived here) by Al Jazeera English and shows an "Israeli bulldozer" as it "destroys Jenin street during raid." A caption that accompanied the video read:

Video shows an Israeli bulldozer destroying a street in Jenin in the occupied West Bank as its forces carried out a deadly raid. Palestinian officials say the destruction of roads has prevented ambulances from getting to injured people.

Jenin is a Palestinian city in the West Bank, a contested area that has been occupied by Israel since 1967. Israel raided a Jenin refugee camp on July 3, 2023, which resulted in the death of at least a dozen people, Reuters reported on July 5, 2023.

The above clip was also shared on the official Al Jazeera English Instagram account on the same day with a text overlay that credited the video compilation to the Instagram account @eye.on.palestine, Facebook account @QudsN and Telegram account @askargaded.

A location pin identified the video as having been recorded in "Jenin, Occupied West Bank." A caption that accompanied the Instagram post read:

Video footage shows an Israeli bulldozer destroying a street in Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank as Israel's forces carried out a deadly raid. The destruction of the roads has prevented ambulances from getting to injured people, say Palestinian officials.

#Jenin #Palestine #Palestinians #Israel

Lead Stories contacted Al Jazeera English for further confirmation that the two videos were the same. We will update the article accordingly.

Lead Stories has also reported that a video did not show a building on fire in France amid the 2023 protests, that another video showed a concert crowd in Mexico -- not a crowd gathered to protest in Nanterre, France, as a post claimed -- and that an "arson attack on the Bibliothèque nationale de France" (National Library of France) did not destroy "thousands of books and manuscripts," as the fire was in another country.

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  Madison Dapcevich

Raised on an island in southeast Alaska, Madison grew up a perpetually curious tidepooler and has used that love of science and innovation in her now full-time role as a science reporter for the fact-checking publication Lead Stories.

Read more about or contact Madison Dapcevich

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