The mortal remains of 30-year-old Kerala woman Soumya Santhosh arrived from Israel to New Delhi on May 15. Santhosh was working as a caregiver in Ashkelon, near the Gaza strip and was killed by Hamas rockets on May 10.

In the backdrop of this, several Twitter and Facebook users have shared an image of jet with ‘Soumya’ written on the side. They have claimed that Israel has named its fighter jet ‘Soumya’ to avenge her death by conducting an airstrike on the Palestinian army chief’s residence.

Facebook user Manoj Pareek posted shared the claim ona Facebook group dedicated to Zee News editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary. It gained over 12,000 likes and 1,000 shares.

[Viral Hindi text: इजराइल ने अपनी फाइटर प्लेन पर #भारतीय बेटी का नाम #सौम्या को नमन लिखकर उससे #फिलिस्तीन आर्मी चीफ के घर पर बम गिरा दिया..सच्ची श्रद्धांजलि ]

Many other Facebook posts gained several thousand likes.

Self-styled godman Yogi Devnath with over a million followers amplified the claim on Twitter. It has gained over 800 retweets.

Morphed image

Performing a reverse image search on Google we found that the fighter jet is Chengdu J-10, manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), China.

The image was uploaded on the Chinese social media portal Tencent’s QQ last year. It has been credited to Global Frontier Observation. Another Chinese website called Day Day News also published the image in question in 2020.

Readers should note that the viral image is doctored because the original doesn’t say ‘Soumya’ on the side.

Furthermore, Alt News did not find any Israel Defense Forces tweet showcasing J10 jets while it has tweeted about others like F35 and F15.

An image of Chengdu J-10, a Chinese fighter jet, that dates back to at least April 2020 was morphed with the text ‘Soumya’. Right-wing social media users in India have shared the doctored image with the false claim that Israel paid tribute to the Indian woman who lost her life in the recent violence.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.