A collage of two old photos, one showing an Israeli flag painted on a donkey and the second showing the animal on fire are being falsely linked to each to claim that Palestinians in Gaza abused the animal and set it on fire.
BOOM found that the viral claims are false; the images are old and unrelated to each other.Over 10,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed since October 7, 2023, after the surprise attack launched against Israeli troops by the Islamic militant group Hamas and the subsequent Israeli retaliatory airstrikes and ground invasion of the Gaza strip. BOOM has debunked several posts on social media that had gone viral falsely claiming to show Palestinians faking their injuries to inflate the death toll in Gaza.
The two images are being shared to claim that the Israeli flag was painted on the donkey followed by the Palestinians killing it. A caption on X (formerly Twitter) reads, "Gaza killing innocent donkey"
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The images are also circulating on Facebook with similar captions.
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BOOM found that both photos are unrelated to the ongoing conflict and to each other-- one shows a demonstration in the West Bank in 2011 and the other was taken in Rafah, Gaza in 2014.
We ran a reverse image search of this photo on Google and found a photo shared on the website of Getty Images that was an exact match to the viral image. The caption detailed how the image, taken by Jaafar Ashtiyeh, showed an Israeli flag painted on a donkey by some Palestinians in the West Bank in September 2011. This demonstration was carried out to demand statehood recognition for Palestine and celebrate its formal submission to become a member state in the United Nations.
We ran a keyword search on Google using 'Palestinians burning donkey' and found a photo shared by Getty Images on August 6, 2014. The photo was credited to Abed Rahim Khatib and the caption stated how Palestinians in Gaza Strip's Rafah burnt a donkey after it was allegedly killed during an Israeli airstrike.