On May 18, an Israeli airstrike bombed the high-rise building housing Al Jazeera and The Associated Press’ offices in Gaza City. A screenshot of an article reporting the incident has been shared portraying the reporter donning a Hamas headband. It is being claimed that a journalist with the Associated Press forgot to remove his Hamas headband before live reporting.
Facebook page ‘AAP is No More for Aam Aadmi‘ wrote a bizarre caption that read, “It is true that a Shantidoot (euphemism for Muslims) is a Shantidoot first and a news reporter, police officer, or politician second…Those who were criticizing Israel for attacking the media are silent now that this journalist has been exposed as a member of Hamas, a terrorist organization banned by the UN and over 150 countries. Someday, Ravish Kumar may also forget to remove his Hizbul Mujahideen headband before going live on the air”.
Several Twitter users have promoted the claim. (Archive link)
यह सच्चाई है कि एक शांतिदूत सिर्फ शांतिदूत ही है वह प्रेस रिपोर्टर पुलिस अधिकारी नेता मंत्री बाद में है
अंतर्राष्ट्रीय न्यूज़ एजेंसी एसोसिएटेड प्रेस का रिपोर्टर लाइव आ गया, लेकिन लाइव आने के पहले उसने हमास के सदस्यों द्वारा सर पर बांधे जाने वाली बैंड हटाना भूल गया। 1/3 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/kXIwoqLDEY
— पंडित_जी 🐯🐯 (@RohitSh66826008) May 19, 2021
Former RSS worker Umesh also made the same claim while sharing the screenshot.
In fact, it is also circulating on Telegram channels.
Two different photographs were morphed together to make it appear that the reporter was sporting a Hamas headband. A reverse image search of the image on Yandex revealed that the original photo featured MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin, who was previously a correspondent with Al Jazeera. Mohyeldin was detained by the Egyptian military in 2011 and was released nine hours later.
A reverse image search of the background led us to the YouTube channel of the Argentine newspaper La Nacion. The background of this video was used to create the screenshot in question.
Furthermore, the viral screenshot reads ‘Babylon Bee’ which is a satirical platform. Its Twitter handle boasts a following of over 9.5 lakh with a bio that states, “Trafficking in misinformation under the guise of satire since 2016.”
The article amassed over 8,000 retweets from Babylon Bee’s handle.
Oops! AP Reporter Forgets To Remove Hamas Headband Before Going Live https://t.co/QlHna5EZ6y
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) May 15, 2021
A morphed image was thus, used to claim that a reporter with Associated Press forgot to take off his Hamas headband before going on live air.