An image of Israel’s military assault on Gaza from the May 2021 eleven-day onslaught is being widely shared on social media and western media agencies claiming to show the brutal devastation of a Russian air raid on Ukraine.
On the first day of the first major land war in Europe in decades, Moscow launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine yesterday by land, sea and air. Russia shelled more than a dozen cities and towns, including outside the capital, Kyiv.
Images and videos of the Russian assault have been flooding in from the region showing death and devastation. The Associated Press has been fact checking some of those images and discovered that one of the photos shared widely on social media and western media sources is of an Israeli raid on Gaza.
The image shows a fiery explosion hitting buildings under a night sky depicting Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip in May 2021, not Russian air strikes on Ukraine in February 2022, said AP.
“Facebook users shared the image with the caption, ‘The invasion of Ukraine has begun.’ However, a reverse-image search shows it was taken in May 2021 and was captured by the AFP photographer Mahmud Hams,” AP explained.
A caption of the image available on the website for Getty Images describes the picture as showing “Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, on May 10, 2021.”
In 2021, Israeli occupation forces killed 313 Palestinians, including 71 minors: 236 in the Gaza Strip, 232 of them during the aggression on Gaza; and 77 in the West Bank (including Jerusalem).