Morphed Image Goes Viral as Israel Paying Tribute to Nurse Soumya

We found that the image of the fighter plane was an old one, which was digitally edited to add the name to it.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Fact-Check |&nbsp;We found that the image of the higher plane was an old one, which was digitally edited to add the name "Soumya" on it.</p></div>

An image of a fighter jet with the name “Soumya” embossed on it has gone viral with a claim that it showed Israel paying tribute to an Indian caregiver Soumya Santhosh, who lost her life in Ashkelon, near the Gaza Strip in a Hamas air strike.

The claim went viral after the mortal remains of the 30-year-old nurse from Kerala arrived in New Delhi on Saturday morning, 15 May.

However, we found that the image of the higher plane was an old one, which was digitally edited to add the name "Soumya" to it.



The image was shared by several social media users with the same caption that said, "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"

[Translation: Israel wrote Indian daughter Soumya's name on its fighter plane, and dropped a bomb on the house of the Palestinian Army Chief. True tribute.]

An archive of the post can be found <a href="">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

The post was massively viral on Facebook and Twitter, archives of which can be found here, here, here and here.

The photo was also sent to us on our WhatsApp tipline.


Upon conducting a reverse image search of the viral photo, we found links leading us to Chinese websites.

We found the same image posted on a Chinese social media portal owned by Tencent called QQ on 2 April 2020. We also found the same image on another Chinese website called PTT News, which was also posted on the same date last year, much before the recent escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine that led to the death of the nurse.

Another search result led us to the same image posted by a Quora user called, Lin Xiyei, on Quora's website.

The images posted on these websites didn't have the name "Soumya" written on the fighter jet.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Comparison of the original image with the viral image.&nbsp;</p></div>

Comparison of the original image with the viral image. 

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

According to the websites, the plane was a Chengdu J-10 fighter jet, which is China's indigenously developed multi-role stealth fighter jet. We looked at other J-10 series aircraft on the Chinese military website, which confirmed that the aircraft in the viral image was a Chengdu J-10 fighter jet.

Additionally, the uniform worn by the soldier in the viral photo is that of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, as can be seen in this news report.

The claim also stated that Israel attacked the Palestinian Defence Chief. This claim is partially true as Israel did attack the home of Hamas’ Chief Yehya Al-Sinwar in Gaza on Sunday, 16 May, but Al-Sinwar is not Palestine's "Defence Chief". He has been heading the political and military wings of Hamas in Gaza since 2017.


Evidently, an old and unrelated photograph of a Chinese fighter jet was morphed to falsely claim that Israel paid tribute to the Indian nurse who died in a Hamas air strike in Ashkelon.

(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer.)

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!