Does a video on social media show a British law enforcement officer engulfed in flames during a rally related to the 2023 Hamas-Israel war? No, that's not true: The footage predates the conflict and the incident occurred far from the Middle East. It was recorded in Mexico in 2020.
A British policeman was set on fire at a Hamas demonstration.
This is what Hamas terrorist supporters look like.
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This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:
The 14-second video showed clashes between protesters and the police.
However, it was not recorded in the U.K. in 2023. As seen in the screenshot above, the patch on the officer's upper arm shows the Mexican national flag, not the British one. The appearance of the police uniform in the frame is consistent with other images of Mexican law enforcement (for example, here.)
A reverse image search shows that the footage was uploaded (archived here) on YouTube on June 6, 2020. The description of the file said that the video captured a scene during a rally against police brutality in Mexico:
(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Wed Nov 8 15:42:01 2023 UTC)
(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Nov 8 16:09:29 2023 UTC)
As screenshots of 2020 posts above demonstrate, the version of the video that started to circulate on social media in the fall of 2023 was flipped horizontally to avoid detection. Furthermore, it was reuploaded in lower quality to obscure the details helping to geolocate it.
Based on older clips in better quality, Lead Stories found the spot where the recording was made: It was not far from 351 Av Juarez (archived here) close to the Guadalajara Cathedral in the capital of Jalisco (archived here), one of the Mexican states.
As seen on a Google Street View screenshot below, the spot is between a university building and McDonald's across the street, also seen in the footage shared on social media in 2020 and 2023.
(Source: Google Street View screenshot taken on Wed Nov 8 16:27:14 2023 UTC)
The incident took place during protests in Jalisco, Mexico, on Thursday local time, over the death of Giovanni Lopez, 30, who died after his arrest was widely believed to be for not wearing a face mask during coronavirus restrictions. ...
A masked demonstrator then runs up behind him and pours flammable liquid onto the officer's back before setting him alight.
Other Lead Stories fact checks mentioning the 2023 Hamas-Israel war can be found here.