Old images falsely shared as visuals of Israel's recent air strikes on the Gaza Strip

By: Rahul Adhikari
May 5 2023

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Old images falsely shared as visuals of Israel's recent air strikes on the Gaza Strip


The Verdict Misleading

Two old images showing Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have been misattributed to claim they are from the recent flare-up of hostilities.

Claim ID 23426397


On May 2, the Israeli military and Gaza militants traded fire amid an outbreak of violence following the death of a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike in Israeli custody. The rise in tensions came after the death of prominent prisoner Khader Adnan in Israeli custody, which prompted rockets to be fired towards Israel from the Gaza Strip. According to a report by Al Jazeera quoting Hamas media, Israel retaliated by launching its own airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which hit two locations in the enclave. The death of Adnan, who had been on hunger strike death, termed an assassination by Palestinian leaders, has become a fresh bone of contention in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Amid the conflict, two photos were shared on Twitter, claiming to have been taken during the recent attacks. Several users shared the post claiming the same. One such post read, "course, that in the morning the world community will once again pretend that Israel did not bomb residential buildings, authoritative Western media will not show the destiny of Palestinians." The post has received 45,000 views and 946 likes. Another post with a similar claim stated, "Israel attacked the Gaza Strip in response to a Palestinian attack on the southern part of Israel earlier in the day. Local media reports the incident."

However, the claim is misleading as both images are from previous incidences.

In Fact

On conducting a reverse image search, we found that the first image is from a Telegraph report dated August 6, 2022, which stated that the image was captured after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. We also found the same image in a France24 news report with the caption, "Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Friday, August 5, 2022. © Hatem Moussa, AP." The report stated that Israel launched air strikes on Gaza, killing at least 15 people, including a top militant, and prompting a retaliatory rocket attack from the enclave. The Israeli military said it was targeting the Islamic Jihad militant group during increased tensions that had arisen since the arrest of a senior militant in the occupied West Bank. It is evident that the image was captured in 2022 after Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza and is unrelated to the recent incident.

We found the second image in a news report by The Guardian, dated May 5, 2019, indicating that the photo was taken after Israel launched multiple airstrikes on Gaza in retaliation for the latter's attack. The attack resulted in the death of six people, including an infant and her mother. Upon further research, we found a similar image on the Getty Images website, taken by photographer Mahmud Hams, with the caption: "An explosion is pictured among buildings during an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on May 4, 2019. - Gaza militants fired a barrage of rockets at Israel, which responded with airstrikes, officials said, as a fragile ceasefire again faltered." 

The Verdict

Two images depicting air strikes by Israel on Gaza and claiming to be from the recent outbreak of tensions between Israel and Palestine are misattributions. Although the images do show Israeli attacks on Gaza, they are not from the recent incident. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before