Photos show journalists showing support for Palestinian reporter shot in eye in 2019

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Several images have been shared thousand times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter that claim they show Malaysian television hosts wearing eye patches to show solidarity with a Palestinian journalist shot in the eye in 2021. The claim is misleading: the image shows Malaysian television journalists showing support for a Palestinian reporter who was injured in 2019.

The image was posted here on Facebook on May 26, 2021.

The caption reads: “Malaysian newschannel anchors appeared on the screen with bandage on one eye on their respective news channels to show solodarity with Palestinian journalist who was shot in the eye by Israeli forces last week. #freepalestine”.

Screenshot of the post falsely claiming to show the hosts with eyepatches in 2021. Taken on May 27, 2021.

The name of the Malaysian state-run TV channel Alhijrah TV can be seen at the top of the image.

The post was shared after the conflict escalated between Israel and Hamas in May 2021. AFP reported on the crisis here.

The image has been shared with the same caption on Facebook here, here, here and here; and on Twitter here, here, here, here and here.

The images, however, have been shared in a misleading context.

An online search found the photo has appeared in this article published by Alhijrah TV on November 21, 2019.

The first paragraph of the Malaysian-language article reads: “Newsreader Adi Akmal Sehrom read the final segment of the 8 pm  news programme on AlHijrah TV last night with a bandage on his left eye as a symbol of solidarity to the Palestinian photographer who was blinded in his left eye as a result of being shot by Zionist soldiers while on duty last Friday.”

Palestinian journalist Muath Amarneh was shot in the eye on November 15, 2019, during clashes between Israeli border police and Palestinian demonstrators in the village of Surif, close to Hebron, in the West Bank, as reported by AFP here.

Below is a comparison of the image in the posts with the false claims (L) and the image from Alhijrah TV (R):

Screenshot comparing the images with the false caption (L) and the image from Alhijrah TV (R). Taken on May 27, 2021.

While most of the images are from TV Alhijrah, the image in the center shows a broadcast by Palestine TV in 2019.

An image of the broadcast was also posted here by Palestinian journalist Yousef Alhelou on November 17, 2019. 

The tweet says: “Anchors at Palestine TV at 9 o’clock News Bulletins show their solidarity with Palestinian photojournalist Mua’az Amarnah who lost his eye in an Israeli shooting that was aimed at him while covering an Israeli attack on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.”

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT