Online digging unearths tunnels in southern England, not Gaza

What was Claimed

A video shows a Hamas tunnel in Gaza.

Our Verdict

False. The tunnel is in Surrey, England.

A video posted to social media claims to show a Hamas tunnel system beneath the Gaza war zone.

This is false. The video does show elaborate underground passages, but a little digging unearths the truth - the tunnels are in Surrey, England, and were used almost 80 years ago during World War II.

There is a complex tunnel network, estimated to be hundreds of kilometres long, beneath Gaza which Israel says is a key part of the military operation of Hamas.

A video (screenshot here) posted to Facebook includes the text "Hamas Israel war update" and is tagged #HamasIsraelWar #IsraelPalestineWar #HAMAS #Gaza.

A screenshot from the Facebook video.
The video is not from the Middle East conflict zone.

The word "Hamas" is overlaid on the clip, which starts with a man dressed in a black T-shirt and denim shorts walking through a tunnel system.

The video includes the sounds of war, including a helicopter, gunfire, explosions and a cry of "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the greatest).

The word "Kinemaster" is also overlaid on the video. Kinemaster is video editing software for gamers. Someone who looks to be a gamer appears in a smaller frame in the top left corner of the video at the 20 sec mark.

AAP FactCheck conducted a Google image search of a still from the video and sourced it to the TikTok account @urbexkev.

Urbex is a recreational pastime in which people explore derelict urban structures.

Many of the videos on the TikTok account are of underground bunkers, bomb shelters and old railway tunnels throughout England.

A screenshot from the original TikTok video.
A screenshot from the original TikTok video.

The Facebook clip is taken from a 10min video on the @urbexkev account which shows the same urban explorer in the black T-shirt. That video is tagged #bunker #war #ww2 #history #underground.

There's no indication where the video was taken, but a clue is at the 2min 37sec mark, and the image of an old newspaper.

The word "Shelters" can be seen in the headline, above a photo of a man in a helmet. The page is torn across the lower half of the photo.

The same newspaper clipping can be seen in this image.

The image is from the Derelict Places website, which has a series of photos taken inside secret tunnels in Reigate, a town in Surrey, south of London.

An old rail tunnel (file image)
Exploring derelict structures such as disused tunnels has become a niche activity.

Several pictures show scenes also in the @urbexkev TikTok video.

This image, for example, showing a section of pipe and rubble, matches the TikTok video at the 1min 22sec mark, while this image showing an old section of ventilation pipe is seen at the 1min 34sec mark.

And this image, showing where the old newspapers were discovered, matches the TikTok video from the 2min 12sec mark.

The same tunnel system, including the old newspapers, piping and rubble, are seen in a YouTube video from a different "urbex" team.

The description names the tunnels "Reigate Battle HQ", or "Reigate Citadel", and says it is a military structure which played a significant role during WWII.

The Verdict

The claim a Facebook video shows a Hamas tunnel system beneath Gaza is false.

The video has been misrepresented. The original clip features urban explorers walking through a World War II tunnel system in southern England.

False — The claim is inaccurate.

AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. To keep up with our latest fact checks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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