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No evidence of UAE planes carrying military aid to Israel amid Gaza conflict

A viral claim on social media alleges that eight UAE planes carrying military aid have landed at airports in Israel

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Claim: Eight UAE planes have landed at airports in Israel, carrying military aid and equipment for the Israeli army.

Fact: This claim is false and reports developments from last year out of context. There is no evidence of the UAE supplying military aid to Israel in the ongoing war. 

On 7 October 2023, the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, launched a “surprise attack” on Israel via sea, land, and air. In response, the Israeli government formally declared war on Hamas on 8 October 2023. 

At least 1,400 fatalities have been reported in Israel, while health officials reported that more than 7,000 people have been killed in Gaza, Palestine, according to a report by OCHA. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA, reported that over one million people, almost half the total population of Gaza, have been displaced. The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues at the time of writing. 

The UAE became the first Gulf country to normalise relations with Israel in 2020, as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the US. However, the UAE has also condemned Israel’s invasion of Gaza and called for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

On 3 November 2023. A viral post by @jacksonhinklle on X (formerly, Twitter) alleged that eight UAE planes have landed at airports in Israel, carrying military aid and equipment for the Israeli army.

Fact or Fiction?

A Google search using the phrase, “UAE military aid Israel” did not yield any news reports on the UAE offering  military aid to Israel during its ongoing war in Gaza.. On the contrary, the UAE has expressed its support for Palestine and urged the international community to intervene and stop the violence.

Most of the posts making the claim have an image attached of Israeli President Isaac Herzog and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. 

This image is from Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to the UAE in January 2022, when he became the first Israeli head of state to visit the Gulf country. Several news sites published the photo at the time. Neither is the image related to the current war in Gaza, nor is it evidence of the alleged provision of military aid by the UAE to Israel.

The claim may be referring to a Jerusalem Post report published on 29 April 2022. According to the report,  the UAE  dispatched heavy  aircraft to Israel to transport defence equipment as part of “the defence contracts signed between the two nations.” 

The article adds that, “At least eight C-17 Globemaster heavy transport aircraft belonging to the United Arab Emirates Air Force have landed in Israel,” to transport defence equipment. 

However, the article does not provide any sources or evidence to support this claim, nor does it  specify the date, time, or location of the alleged flights. Therefore, this part of the claim cannot be confirmed either.

Virality

The claim was shared widely on social media platforms, especially by users who are critical of the UAE’s ties with Israel. Some of these posts on Facebook can be seen here, here, and here.

One of the most popular posts was made by @jacksonhinklle on X on 3 November 2023 which received more than 10 million views, 46,000 reposts, and 86,000 likes. The claim was also shared  on Facebook (archive) and Instagram.

Conclusion: There is no official confirmation or news report that the UAE has supplied military aid to Israel in the ongoing war with Palestine. The image attached to the posts is from a previous visit of the Israeli president to the UAE in January 2022, and not from the current conflict in Israel and Gaza. 

Background image(s) in cover photo: Pinterest, X

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

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