Two photos tweeted in the past 24 hours, both allegedly depicting the results of Israeli air strikes in Gaza in recent days, have been proven false.
1. The photo first tweeted by Khulood Badawi (@KhuloodBadawi) and later by Diana Alzeer (@ManaraRam), allegedly depicting a Palestinian girl killed by an Israeli air strike yesterday, was proven to have originated in 2006 and to have had nothing at all to do with Israeli action. This photo is now the top tweet for #Gaza, with over 300 retweets. It is completely false.
Badawi first tweeted the picture at noon on March 10, claiming it was linked to last night’s air strikes. Alzeer tweeted it on March 11, claiming the same.
Further research revealed that the photo was taken in 2006 by Reuters, and that the girl, initially thought to have been killed in an Israeli air strike, was injured by falling off a swing. When confronted with this information, Alzeer stated that the photo was taken last night and forwarded to the press that day.
In fact, the photo was taken by Reuters on August 9, 2006. It was originally released with an incorrect caption, and then corrected a day later:
A Palestinian man carries the body of three year-old Raja Abu Shaban, in Gaza August 9, 2006. The three-year-old girl who had been reported killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza on Wednesday actually died of an accident, Palestinian medical workers said on Thursday. Workers at Gaza’s Shifa hospital said on August 10, 2006 that the initial mistake over the cause of death appeared to have arisen because the girl’s corpse was brought in at the same time as the bodies of the gunmen. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES)
Alzeer later published an apology and withdrew her claims. Badawi has yet to respond.
The original tweets, however, have already been picked up by hundreds of others and continue to circulate around the web, despite having been thoroughly disproven.
2. A second photo tweeted Maissam Nablussi (@Nablussi), allegedly showing an aerial strike in Gaza today, was proven to have been in circulation back in 2009, completely unrelated to the current round of violence.
On March 11, Nablussi uploaded a photo to Facebook, claiming it depicted “Gaza under attack today.”
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