Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Hamas Supporter' Burning French Flag In Paris

Fact Check

  • by: Madison Dapcevich
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Hamas Supporter' Burning French Flag In Paris In Morocco

Does a video shared to X in November 2023 show a "Hamas supporter" burning "the flags of France" in Paris? No, that's not true: Using visual clues shown in the video and a staff translator, Lead Stories determined that the footage was filmed in Tangier, Morocco -- not Paris. The clues led us to the intersection where the protest took place.

The claim originated in a 27-second video clip shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, on November 6, 2023, (archived here), which a caption that read:

Hamas supporters in Paris burn the flags of France 🇫🇷

#Hamas_is_ISIS #TheWestIsNext

Here's how the post appeared at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken Mon Nov 6 20:11:00 UTC 2023)

Lead Stories traced the original clip to a video that was published on YouTube on October 24, 2023, (archived here) by the Morocco-based media outlet, TanjaNews TV, also known as Tangier News Magazine.

It is true that a protester shown in the video is seen burning a likeness of the French flag. However, by using context clues seen in the YouTube clip, Lead Stories determined that it was originally filmed in Morocco, not Paris.

For example, at the 22-second mark a sign for "BMCI" can be seen on a building. BMCI is a Moroccan universal bank with more than a dozen locations across the country. By searching bank locations using Google Maps Streetview, Lead Stories was able to geolocate BMCI buildings shown in the video to those located outside the Consulate General of France in Tangier.

At the four-second mark, a red patch is visible with a gold crown and green star superimposed on it. Given that BMCI is a Morocco-based bank, Lead Stories then searched for the "Morocco police badge" and found multiple examples of the same badge adorning police authorities in Morocco.

At the 38-second mark of the full video, vests with Arabic writing, not French, can be seen on police vests. Some of these officers viewed at the 44-second mark also had "DGSN" written on the back of their hats. This is the acronym for General Directorate for National Security (Direction Générale de la Sûreté Nationale), Morocco's national police force.

A Lead Stories staff member who speaks Arabic translated the video, finding that the woman seen burning the French flag was repeating, "France, France." As for the chanting:

  • From the beginning of the video to the 21-second mark, the crowd chants, "It is time for resistance, bye-bye submission times, it is time to boycott."

  • From the 22-second to 42-second marks, gatherers are heard saying, "France, France ... enemy of the people ... enough wars."

  • And from the 43-second mark to the end of the video, protestors say, "Resistance is not terrorism" and "Emmanuel Macron [French president] is a liar."

Following the October 7, 2023, beginning of the Hamas-Israel conflict, a number of Moroccan cities (including Tangier) witnessed peaceful pro-Palestinian protests. Protesters also expressed condemnation of the position France took, demanding the end of decadeslong partnerships with France.

Other Lead Stories articles on claims pertaining to the 2023 Hamas-Israel conflict are here.

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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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