Fact Check-Photo shows crying photographer at Asian Cup 2019, not 2021 conflict in Jerusalem

A collage that combines images of a crying photographer along with an image of Israeli police at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is being shared on social media. Captions suggest the photographer was crying because of the violence occurring around the mosque. However, the man in the images is an Iraqi photographer who was pictured crying in January 2019 after his team was eliminated from the Asian Cup.

Text accompanying the collage of photos in the posts, seen here and here says, “a photojournalist rolls down tears while capturing pictures of Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.”

From May 7, at the height of the Ramadan fasting month, East Jerusalem tensions spilled over into clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians around al Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest mosque (here , here).

A Reuters explainer article examines how these clashes ignited the heaviest fighting in years between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip (here).

The original photo of the emotional photojournalist was shared here on the official Asian Cup Twitter page in January 2019. The caption explains that the photo shows an Iraqi photographer and was taken during the round of 16 game between Iraq and Qatar on Jan, 22, 2019, which Iran lost 1-0, knocking them out of the tournament (here). The photo was also shared on Twitter on Jan 24, 2019 here by the official account of sports website Sport360 Arabiya with the caption concurring that this is an Iraqi photographer crying because his team was eliminated from the Asian Cup.

The photo of Al-Aqsa mosque shared in the social media posts was taken on May 7 by Mostafa Alkharouf of the Anadoulu Agency, as seen in high quality on the agency’s website here . The caption says, “Israeli security forces are seen as they enter Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Reuters photos showing Israeli police at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 7 can be seen here and here .


False. The man is an Iraqi photographer crying because his team was knocked out of the Asian Cup in 2019, not because of conflict at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in 2021.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .