Fake News Circulating About Burj Khalifa Lighting Up For Israel

A viral image of the UAE’s Burj Khalifa shining in the colours of Israel’s flag following the nations’ accord to stabilise relations has been debunked as fake news by AFP’s fact-checker counterpart.

Israel and the UAE sign accord to stabilise relations

Last week saw the UAE and Israel ink the ‘Abraham Accord’ to establish diplomatic relations brokered by US President Donald Trump. Prior to this breakthrough agreement, the UAE didn’t recognize Israel as a country given the crisis Palestine has been facing over the recent decades.

It wasn’t until the last few years when Israeli officials, sportsmen and top businessmen were welcomed to the UAE and speculations were rife about the two nations silently working to normalise relations. Trump, who’s months away from the 2020 US Presidential elections, helped broker the agreement between the two countries in a bid to secure his re-election.

In the Abraham Accord, Israel agreed to “annexe parts of the West Bank” establishing Palestine as a state with East Jerusalem as its capital, while the UAE agreed to foster relations in strategic sectors including economic, cultural, scientific, and technological fields. The coming months will see the UAE build an embassy in Tel Aviv and both the countries collaborating on a Coronavirus vaccine.

“The United Arab Emirates has secured Israel’s commitment to halting the annexation of Palestinian territories in order to sustain efforts to achieve a two-state solution. This decisive freeze on the annexation of Palestinian territories is a significant diplomatic achievement and comes in furtherance of the UAE’s belief that establishing normal relations with Israel will enable it to play a direct and constructive role in enhancing the region’s security and stability.”

Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

You can read the entire joint statement by the US, the UAE and Israel here.

Viral photos of Burj Khalifa lighting up for Israel

Following the breakthrough treaty, manipulated images of Burj Khalifa glowing in the flag of Israel surfaced on social media as a sign of celebration. AFP Fact Check launched an investigation unravelling the photos were photoshopped after finding the original images of Burj Khalifa through a reverse search.

Burj Khalifa Abraham Record UAE Israel relations diplomacy Anwar Gargash US President Donald Trump Flag Light up fake news

Photograph credit: AFP Fact Check

AFP Fact Check’s report reveals the edited photos of Burj Khalifa were taken from a travel blog and one from the Government of Dubai Media Office.

Burj Khalifa Abraham Record UAE Israel relations diplomacy Anwar Gargash US President Donald Trump Flag Light up fake news

Photograph credit: AFP Fact Check

What’s more, any flag or message illuminated on Burj Khalifa’s facade is usually shared on the building’s social channels, which wasn’t in the case of Israel’s flag incident.

Huge fines for sharing fake news about the UAE

It’s worth mentioning UAE residents must be cautious of information being shared on social media, be it through broadcast messages, images or videos. Anyone responsible for sharing disinformation about the UAE is subject to a whopping Dhs 20,000 fine.

Burj Khalifa Abraham Record UAE Israel relations diplomacy Anwar Gargash US President Donald Trump Flag Light up fake news

Via WeHeartIt

(Featured photograph credit: Dubai Media Office)

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