Fact Check: Video Supposedly Shows Palestinians Evacuating Rafah Ahead of IDF Assault. Here's the Truth



A video shows Palestinians evacuating the southern Gaza city of Rafah in May 2024 ahead of a planned Israeli Defense Forces assault.


Rating: Miscaptioned
Rating: Miscaptioned


The video shows Palestinians evacuating south toward Rafah following an earlier evacuation order, in November 2023.


Despite opposition from many of its allies, Israel issued an evacuation order to over 100,000 Palestinians in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on May 6, 2024, suggesting that the country would move forward with a planned military operation in the city, as reported by The Associated Press:

Lt. Col. Nadav Shoshani, an army spokesman, said about 100,000 people were being ordered to move from parts of Rafah to a nearby Israel-declared humanitarian zone called Muwasi, a makeshift camp on the coast. He said that Israel has expanded the size of the zone and that it included tents, food, water and field hospitals.

Shortly after the news broke, a video on X purporting to show Palestinians evacuating Rafah went viral:

But the video actually showed the opposite — Palestinians evacuating in a southerly direction toward Rafah in November 2023. The video first appeared on X on Nov. 8, 2024:

In mid-November 2023, during an assault on Gaza City, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) issued an evacuation order for several nearby regions, forcing another wave of Palestinians to travel south toward Rafah, where the IDF had previously directed millions of Palestinians in an October 2023 evacuation. Portions of this region are now under this new evacuation order.

Because the video is from November 2023 and shows an earlier evacuation of Palestinians, we rate the video as "Miscaptioned."

The protracted, often bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded into a hot war on Oct. 7, 2023, when the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel and Israel retaliated by bombarding the Gaza Strip. More than 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, were reportedly killed during the first two months of the war alone. The violence is driven by mutual hostilities and territorial ambitions dating back more than a century. The internet has become an unofficial front in that war and is rife with misinformation, which Snopes is dedicated to countering with facts and context. You can help. Read the latest fact checks. Submit questionable claims. Become a Snopes Member to support our work. We welcome your participation and feedback.


"Biden Speaks with Netanyahu as Israelis Appear Closer to Rafah Offensive." AP News, 6 May 2024, https://apnews.com/article/biden-netanyahu-gaza-rafah-d85423ad066fe41ac5783db5bd9ecffd.

"Hamas Accepts a Gaza Cease-Fire Proposal, but Israel Hasn't Commented." AP News, 6 May 2024, https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-gaza-hamas-war-humanitarian-aid-8659eae6e0a7362504f0aa4aa4be53e0.

"IDF Troops in the 'heart' of Gaza City." NBC News, 9 Nov. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/live-blog/israel-hamas-war-live-updates-rcna124127.

Ratcliffe, Rebecca, et al. "UN Says Tens of Thousands Have Fled South in Gaza after Israel's Evacuation Order – as It Happened." The Guardian, 14 Oct. 2023. www.theguardian.com, https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/oct/13/israel-hamas-war-live-updates-news-gaza-palestine-evacuations-military.