Old images used to claim Palestinians painted a donkey with Israeli flag, burned its remains

By: Soham Shah
November 13 2023

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Old images used to claim Palestinians painted a donkey with Israeli flag, burned its remains

X post by pro-Israel activist Yoseph Haddad (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

One photo shows a 2011 protest in the West Bank, and the other, a donkey burned after being killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza in 2014.

Claim ID e068ce74

Multiple users on X and Facebook shared a post alleging that Palestinians painted the Israeli flag on a donkey, beat it to death, and then set its remains on fire. The posts included a photo of a donkey purportedly painted with the Israeli flag and another image displaying a donkey's body set ablaze.

Yoseph Haddad, a pro-Israel activist, shared a similar post (now deleted) alongside the caption, “The pro-Palestinian protesters against Israel prove how barbaric they are through their demonstrations!” Other versions of the post asserted that Palestinians had fatally beaten and stoned the donkey before setting it on fire. Archived links to these posts can be accessed here, here, and here.


Posts claiming a donkey was painted with the Israeli flag and set on fire. (Source: X/ Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, upon investigation, we found that these images are unrelated to each other and to the current Israel-Hamas conflict.

Image of a donkey painted with the Israeli flag

A reverse image search found that this image was captured on September 23, 2011, and was published by Getty Images. The description of the photo states that it is from a protest held in the village of Kfar Kadum in the West Bank, to support Palestine's bid to become a member state of the United Nations. The photo is credited to Jaafar Ashtiyeh, a stringer for AFP. There is no evidence to suggest that this donkey was set on fire by the protestors. 

Photo from a 2011 protest in Kfar Kadum (Source: Getty Images/AFP)

Another photo shot from a different angle on the same date, September 23, 2011, also shows a donkey with the Israeli flag painted on it being led by the same people visible in the AFP image. The description of this photo also mentions similar details about the location and the protest, making it highly likely that it is the same donkey. This photo was posted on Alamy and is credited to Wagdi Eshtayah for Zuma Press, a photo wire agency. 

Image of donkey set on fire

We also traced this image back to Getty Images. According to the caption, it was captured on August 6, 2014, and shows Palestinians burning a donkey killed by Israeli air strikes in Rafah, South Gaza. The photo is credited to Abed Rahim Khatib for the photographic press agency Nur Photo. There is no evidence to suggest that the animal was stoned, beaten, or painted with the Israeli flag.

This proves that the two images were taken years apart, at different locations, and do not show the same animal. Further, the photos are unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas conflict, which began on October 7, 2023. 

The verdict

We have marked this claim as false as the images are old and unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas conflict, or to each other.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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