A few days ago, an image of a boy carrying a girl on his shoulder went viral on social media, the image had the letters “IDF” written on the girl’s back and “HAMAS” written on the boy’s chest. Many users claimed that the boy was a Hamas terrorist who had kidnapped a Jewish woman in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. However, this claim is false. The image is an old one from 2014 and has been digitally altered to spread misinformation.
We traced the source of the fake image to a Twitter user named @Sanatani_Shabby [Tweet has been deleted]. We also found out that this digitally altered image was shared by many on social media.
The original image
We did a reverse image search and found the original image, which was uploaded in an article by The Times of Israel on July 24, 2014. The article was titled “Israelis post racy photos to boost IDF morale” and showed how some Israeli soldiers and civilians posted provocative pictures of themselves on a Facebook page, titled “Standing With the IDF”. The page was created to support the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the 2014 Gaza war. The image in question showed a boy carrying a girl on his shoulder, both wearing IDF uniforms. The boy had “IDF” written on his chest and the girl had a Star of David necklace. We found no image where Hamas was written on the boy’s chest.
The difference between the fake and the original image
A comparison between the fake and the original image reveals that the fake image has been digitally altered to change the letters on the boy’s chest from “IDF” to “HAMAS”. The actual image had IDF written on the chest, not Hamas. The fake image also has a lower resolution and quality than the original one. The fake image has nothing to do with the ongoing clash in Israel and Palestine, which started on 7th October 2023, after Hamas fired rockets at Israel and Israel responded with airstrikes.
The Intent & The Conclusion
The intent behind the fake image is to spread misinformation and propaganda about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The digitally altered image tries to portray every Palestinian in a bad light that kidnaps Jewish women and uses them as human shields. This is a false and inflammatory claim that could incite hatred and violence against Palestinians.
Therefore, we conclude that the image of a boy carrying a girl on his shoulder with “IDF” and “HAMAS” written on their chest is a fake one. It is an old image from 2014 that has been digitally altered to spread false claims about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The image has no relation to the current situation in the region and should not be trusted or shared. Following a precise analysis and fact-checking, our team has reviewed the claim. You can refer to the findings of this inquiry in the Twitter thread below.
Claim: A boy with “Hamas” written on his chest kidnapped a Jewish woman during the ongoing conflict in Israel.
Fact: The image is from 2014 and has been digitally altered. The original image shows “IDF” written on the boy’s chest.