Fact Check: Video Does NOT Depict Israeli Warship Being Struck

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Depict Israeli Warship Being Struck China

Does a video on TikTok show an Israeli warship being struck by an explosive device during the Hamas-Israel conflict in the fall of 2023? No, that's not true: The video, from 2015, captures a fire prevention drill at a chemical plant in the Tongzhou district of Beijing.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by @halabi77 on November 5, 2023. The caption (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

An Israeli warship was targeted

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 12.27.41.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Sun Nov 12 10:41:09 2023 UTC)

The claim on TikTok was widely shared following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, such as here.

Lead Stories conducted a reverse image search (archived here) using TinEye that revealed a version of the video was published on MeiPai, a photo and video-sharing app in China, on November 16, 2015. The Chinese title, translated into English by Google, read: "A video of a fire circulating on the Internet was shot at close range. I hope everyone will pay more attention to fire prevention after seeing it."

Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 12.54.55.png

(Source: MeiPai screenshot taken on Sun Nov 12 11:54:55 2023 UTC)

Two additional versions of the video appear on YouTube. On November 18, 2015, @ahmedtreiban6713 uploaded the video on YouTube with the title "Chinese chemical plant explosion..." Additionally, on June 11, 2017, @funfsinn14 published the video on YouTube under the title "Puyang, Henan, China Chemical Fire and Explosion."

An article published on November 13, 2015, by Oriental Daily News, a Chinese-language newspaper and news website in Hong Kong, reported (translated by Google Translate) that the drill took place at a chemical factory in the Tongzhou district of Beijing, where fire and environmental protection units conducted a joint exercise to simulate a fire and leak of dangerous chemicals.

Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 14.04.03.png

(Source: hk.on.cc screenshot taken on Sun Nov 12 13:04:03 2023 UTC)

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  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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