Forbes magazine covers showing Hamas leaders are fake

16 November 2023
What was claimed

Former and current Hamas leaders are being featured on the front covers of Forbes magazine special editions.

Our verdict

This is not true. A spokesperson for Forbes has confirmed the covers are not genuine.

Multiple posts are sharing false images of what appear to be front covers of Forbes magazine featuring Hamas leaders. 

One image shows former Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, while another shows current Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh. The word “Forbes” is overlaid on top of the photos and other text is also formatted in the style of a magazine cover.

Each image has been shared on multiple social media platforms including Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram

These posts appear to have been first shared by the official X account for the State of Israel where the post featuring the image of Mr Meshaal has more than 13,000 shares and the post featuring Mr Haniyeh also has over 5,000. The account commented on both these posts stating that the images are “satirical and illustrative”.

Full Fact has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel whether it also created the images and will update the article if we receive a response. 

A spokesperson for Forbes confirmed to Full Fact that these are not genuine covers. The cover for Forbes’s October-November issue actually features Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 

Full Fact could not find any recent articles referring to either Mr Meshaal or Mr Haniyeh on the Forbes website. We found one Forbes article from 2006 which mentions Mr Haniyeh. 

A closer look at the text on the fabricated covers also indicates they’re not genuine. Both say the covers are “a special issue with the biggest liar in the world” and are dated 7 October 2023, which is the date Hamas attacked Israel. There is no mention of any such “special edition” on Forbes’s social media channels.

Moreover, Reuters reported that the photo of Khaled Meshaal was taken by a Reuters photographer in 2012

Full Fact has seen misinformation relating to Israel and Gaza come in many different forms, including mistranslated subtitles, fake documents or posts, and many misleading videos. You can find more of our work concerning these recent events here

Image courtesy of David Shankbone

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