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Debunk: Did migrants throw rocks to block a road near English Channel crossing?

by editor

A video allegedly showing migrants blocking the Channel crossing between Britain and France has gone viral on Twitter after a British far-right politician shared it on his account. 

Posted by Paul Golding, the leader of the far-right Britain First group, the clip has already received more than 500,000 views. 

Golding falsely claims it shows “illegal migrants in Calais throwing rocks to stop the trucks so they can jump on board and sneak into Britain.”

Every year thousands of asylum seekers attempt to cross the Channel to reach the UK. Last year, nearly 46,000 migrants crossed using small boats – a dangerous and even deadly journey for those who attempt it.

The French city of Calais and the Channel have become a symbol of the refugee crisis in Europe. A crisis often exploited by political figures and in this particular case: Britain’s far-right. 

The Cube conducted a reverse image search and found the original clip on Twitter. It dates back to the July 2019 and was posted by an Israeli news outlet.

The translated caption reads: “The protest of the Ethiopian community. Demonstrators throw stones at the Gedera interchange.”

Gedera is a city located in central Israel and The Cube managed to geolocate this protest happened under the bridge of the city’s interchange.

The video shows the 2019 protests in Israel when thousands of demonstrators took to the streets after a 19 year-old Israeli of Ethiopian origin was killed by an off-duty police officer. 

A police statement cited the officer as saying he had tried to intervene in a fight between two groups of people. 

The officer said the youths began throwing stones at him which led him to open fire after “feeling that his life was in danger”, the statement added.

However, Israeli media cited witnesses as saying the officer was not attacked. 

The man’s death brought up accusations of racism and police brutality in the country where tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel in the 1980s and 1990s. 

This exact Twitter video had already been used in a similar disinformation campaign against migrants by the French far-right in 2019. 

The city of Calais even launched legal proceedings in an attempt to sue the account that originally posted the misleading video back in 2019.

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