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Old photo of Syrian bomb survivor misrepresented as wounded Palestinian girl

One user said girl ‘was disfigured by white phosphorus bombing’ by Israel

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Claim: An image shows a Palestinian girl whose face and arm were maimed during Israel’s war against Hamas that started in October 2023.

Fact: The image is old and from Syria. It is not related to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

On 22 January 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user @Kahlissee posted (archive) a picture of a young girl with a maimed arm and face, with the caption, “THIS IS WHAT THE UK AND US ARE SUPPORTING.”

The post comes amid the current Israel-Hamas war, which has become (archive) “the longest, bloodiest, and most destructive conflict” between the two enemies.

According to a 19 December 2023 update — the latest — by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 19,600 Palestinians have been killed and over 52,500 injured since the 7 October attack. Similarly, at least 1,200 Israelis have been killed and upwards of 5,400 injured.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check reverse-searched the image and found that it was posted on X over seven years ago.

On 18 April 2016, X user @QuranAndHadithh uploaded (archive) the picture with the following caption:

“A little Syrian girl survived a Russian napalm attack but will be marked for life. #Assadcrimes #Syria”

The image was also shared by other users in 2016 here and here.

Therefore, the image has no link to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Virality

Soch Fact Check found that the @Kahlissee’s post has received over 1.1 million times as of the time of writing.

We also found another viral X post, which was shared on 21 January 2024 and has been viewed over 381,600 times. The user claimed (archive) the child in the image “was disfigured by white phosphorus bombing, courtesy of Israel”.

Screenshots of viral X posts were shared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The image of a young girl with a maimed arm and face is old and from Syria. It is not related to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.


Background image in cover photo: engin akyurt


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

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