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Top 10: April Fools Pranks

They’re supposed to be funny, but all too often the hoaxes and japes of 1 April get out of hand and backfire on the pranksters

WAR GAMES

Tensions in the Middle East in the 1980s were no laughing matter. In 1986, an Israeli intelligence analyst created a false April Fool’s Day report stating that Nabih Berri, the leader of the Amal Movement (one of the factions in the Lebanese Civil War) had been wounded in an assassination attempt. The story spread across Israeli radio before it was found to be a hoax, and it had to be retracted to prevent an international incident. The analyst was court-martialled and Israel’s defence minister faced questions in parliament.

Nabih Berri’s hoax ‘assassination’ could have had dangerous consequences
ALAMY X1, GETTY IMAGES X9, TOPFOTO X1
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About BBC History Revealed

William Shakespeare had humble beginnings – how did he transform into England’s greatest playwright? We explore how the ‘upstart crow’ became so widely celebrated. Plus: The mysterious assassins of the medieval Muslim world are explored, we dig into the diaries of Samuel Pepys and take a look at the life of Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians.