This image of people praying has circulated online since at least 2016
An image of people praying in the street has been shared in multiple Facebook and Twitter posts alongside a claim it shows Palestinian Muslims attending Friday prayers. The photo circulated online as the Israel-Palestinian conflict escalated. The image has been shared in a false context: it actually shows Muslims praying in Indian-administered Kashmir in 2016.
The image was posted here on Facebook on May 14, 2021.
“Palestinian Muslims offering Friday prayers,” reads the post's Urdu-language caption.
The Kashmir region has been a flashpoint for conflict between Pakistan and India since 1947.
The photo circulated online after violence escalated between Israel and armed groups in the Gaza Strip. AFP reported on the crisis here.
The claim, however, is false.
A reverse image search found the same photo posted here on June 25, 2016 by Indian media outlet Punjab Kesari.
Below is a comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (L) and the one published by Punjab Kesari (R):
The article states the image shows “youths who joined the prayer ceremony of the six terrorists killed in Lolab and Baramulla in Kupwara district...with stones in their hands”.
A keyword search in AFP's archives found a similar photo taken by AFP photographer Tauseef Mustafa on June 24, 2016 in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir.
According to the caption, the photo shows kashmiri protesters demonstrating against Indian rule of the disputed region.
“Police fired tear smoke shells and rubber bullets to disperse Kashmiri Muslim men protesting against Indian rule after June 24, 2016 congregation prayers near the main Jamia Masjid mosque,” it reads.
AFP reported on the clashes here.
UPDATE 20/05/21: Added mention of AFP photo