ISLAMABAD: An image shared thousands of times on Facebook purports to show a Jerusalem-based newspaper reporting the arrest of an Israeli pilot in Pakistan. The claim is false; the photo in the post shows an Israeli Air Force pilot who died in a helicopter crash six years ago.
Multiple Facebook posts contain what appears to be a screenshot of an article by Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post. In the purported screenshot there is a photo of a man in military uniform standing with his family next to a plane.
The man’s head has been circled in red, as has the article’s headline – which says, in fragmented English, “Family Bids Farewell to Pilot Who Arrested by Pakistan Army After Crash The Fighter Jet”.
The same image was shared hundreds of times elsewhere on Facebook.
There is a logo saying “Pakistan News” overlaid on the purported screenshot’s top-left-hand corner and the caption under the photo reads: “Lieut-Col (res) Noam Ron with his family 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Ron family).”
The image also contains text in Urdu on a dark red background above the purported screenshot, which says: “Israeli newspaper confirmed the arrest of its pilot in Pakistan. Startling truth has come forward. Speculations died down. Pilot is in Pakistan’s custody.”
The screenshot is a doctored copy of the Jerusalem Post article published on March 12, 2013, which contains the same photograph of the man and his family.
The headline in the original article says: “Family bids farewell to pilot who died in IAF crash”. IAF stands for Israeli Air Force. The name of the reporter and the photo caption are the same.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Lieutenant Colonel Noam Ron died along with his colleague Major Erez Flekser when the helicopter they were flying crashed on March 12, 2013.
The incident was also report on at the time by the Times of Israel.