Fact Check: Israel Did NOT Bomb The Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound In Jerusalem

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Israel Did NOT Bomb The Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound In Jerusalem Not Al-Aqsa

Did Israel bomb the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam? No, that's not true: Reverse photo searches show the photo circulating online that claims to show damage to the Al-Aqsa Mosque actually shows a damaged mosque in Gaza. No credible news outlet has repeated the claim about Al-Aqsa and The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of Palestine published a statement decrying the bombing of the mosque in Gaza, but not of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) where it was published on TikTok by @umut_aslan009 on October 9, 2023, with a caption translated into English from Arabic by Lead Stories staff that reads:

Israel hits al-Aqsa Mosque. O Lord, be with Palestine and the people of Palestine

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-10-22 at 09.23.01.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Sun Oct 22 07:18:48 2023 UTC)

The claim on TikTok has been widely circulated as shown here, here and here. Some accounts falsely claim the photo shows the Al-Aqsa Mosque and others claim it shows the Dome of the Rock shrine which is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. The claims started to circulate after Hamas launched a a massive attack from Gaza on Israeli territory on October 7, 2023.

A reverse google image search of the photo conducted on October 22, 2023, shows it is instead the Mohammed al-Amin mosque which was hit by Israeli airstrikes on October 7, 2023 in Gaza, not in Jerusalem. The Lead Stories staff was able to geolocate the damaged mosque in Khan Younis, Gaza strip.

Screenshot 2023-10-22 at 10.12.55.png

(Source: Google Maps screenshot taken on Sun Oct 22 07:42 2023 UTC)

The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of Palestine, published a statement on October 8, 2023, condemning the Israeli airstrikes targeting two mosques in Gaza Strip, including Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque.

A Google News search conducted on October 22, 2023, with the keywords: "Israel," "bomb," "Al-Aqsa Mosque," and "Dome of the Rock" (archived here), found no credible reports from any national and international news outlets to support the claim Al-Aqsa Mosque had been bombed.

  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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