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This Photo Does Not Feature the Recent Israeli "March of Flags"

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
19th May 2023
This Photo Does Not Feature the Recent Israeli "March of Flags"
The photo dates back to 2022 (Twitter)

The Claim

A recent photo features numerous Israeli individuals marching and joyfully dancing in the heart of Jerusalem, specifically in front of Solomon's Hall and the synagogue. 

Emerging story

Israeli social media users and media outlets shared a photo during the Israeli march of flags towards the Western Wall. Social media users claimed that it shows numerous Israeli participants parading and celebrating in the heart of Jerusalem, near Solomon's Hall and the synagogue.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the photo and found the claim to be misleading.

After conducting a thorough reverse image search, Misbar’s team found the photo making the rounds to be outdated.

The Photo Dates Back to 2022

Contrary to circulating claims, the photo was shot during the flag march in May 2022. Photographer Mendy Hechtmanthe shot the photo for Flash90.

According to the photo’s caption, the scene shows Israelis dancing in the center of Jerusalem, in front of Solomon's Hall and the synagogue.

The photo was uploaded to Makor Rishon’s published article about the parade at the time.

A supporting image within the article body
Photo Description: A screenshot of the original photo from Makor Rishon outlet.

The same photo was also published on May 30, 2022, by Terresainte.net. Misbar's team conducted a comparison between the widely shared photo and the original one, concluding that they are indeed identical.

A supporting image within the article body
Photo Description: A screenshot of the original photo from Terresainte.net.

The 2023 Israel “Flag March”

Under tight security measures, a large crowd of Israeli nationalists, numbering in the tens of thousands, marched through Jerusalem's walled Old City, specifically the Muslim quarter, during an annual event that drew criticism from Palestinians. 

Throughout the afternoon, lively groups of Jewish youth danced, chanted, and engaged in heated confrontations, including the shouting of slogans like "Death to Arabs." Disturbingly, some journalists covering the event were attacked by some of those participating in the march.

In response, Palestinians organized their own flag march in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza, some of which took place just a few hundred meters away from the Israel-Gaza separation fence.

Israeli forces responded to the Palestinian flag procession by firing gas bombs at the peaceful participants, as well as journalists and ambulance staff.

Why Is “Jerusalem Day” Provocative for Palestinians?

In the 1967 war, Israel engaged in conflicts with several Arab armies and gained control of territories, including East Jerusalem. Following the war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, a move that has not been globally recognized, asserting its claim to the entire city as its undivided capital for eternity. 

The day's activities reach their peak with a flag-waving march that passes through downtown Jerusalem and enters the Old City, which houses sacred sites significant to Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

The procession, which is closely monitored by law enforcement, moves through the narrow streets of the Old City, including areas like Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter.

Another source of tension arises from the visits made by large groups of Jewish pilgrims, including members of parliament, to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Al-Aqsa holds great significance as the third-holiest site in Islam.

Palestinians argue that these visits, along with the presence of security forces, represent an Israeli attempt to encroach upon one of the few areas in the city where they feel a sense of sovereignty.

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