Old photo is of Israeli children drawing on shells for Lebanon not Gaza

30 November 2023
What was claimed

A photo features Israeli children drawing on shells that will be used on Gaza.

Our verdict

The photograph is from 2006 and shows Israeli children writing on shells bound for Lebanon.

A post with over 35,000 shares on X (formerly Twitter) features a photo of two children drawing on artillery shells with the caption “Israeli Kids writing names on bombs that will be used to kill and maim Palestinian children”.

A post on Facebook features the same image and others of the same scenario from different angles.

But these photos were taken in July 2006, and show children in the town of Kiryat Shmona, Northern Israel, writing on missiles bound for Lebanon, not Gaza.

According to the Guardian at the time, “This photograph of Israeli children writing on artillery shells bound for targets in Lebanon has caused outrage among many bloggers” and an article in the Columbia Journalism Review said the photos were featured in the Washington Post amongst other outlets. 

It’s not clear what exactly the children wrote on the shells. Several media organisations writing at the time referred to a blog post from Israeli blogger Lisa Goldman. Ms Goldman reportedly spoke to eyewitnesses who told her some of the children’s parents wrote messages to Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, one of which can be seen in the photo, and the children drew Israeli flags. 

We’ve checked several other photos that have been spreading with claims they show the Israel-Gaza conflict but that have actually been miscaptioned, and actually show events in Sudan, Syria, Bahrain, Algeria and Ukraine. You can find more of our work countering misinformation relating to the conflict here, and read our guides to spotting misleading images and videos

Image courtesy of Charbel Karam

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