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IDF "Gaza Flotilla Weapons" Photos From 2006/03?

IDF "Gaza Flotilla Weapons" Photos From 2006/03?

flak jackets,
bullet-proof vests, gaza peace flotilla, fake
Date and Time (Original): 2006:02:07 04:49:57
Date and Time (Digitized): 2006:02:07 04:49:57

Hat-tip to:
Ibn Kafka's obiter dicta: Gaza flotilla: How Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs fakes photos of seized weapons
The Arabist: The Israelis can't even get propaganda right anymore

[Update: This photo and this one, time-stamped '2006' and '2010' appear to both contain the same saw/grinder, which supports the explanation that the discrepancy is due to incorrect date settings on the cameras.

Animated GIF at right shows part of both photos, with one distorted to reflect the changed camera angle.

In both 'old' cameras the date stamp corresponds to the year of the camera's release. (Further: For clarity, in both cases the date stamp is prior to the release date of the model of camera in question, which would also imply that the camera clocks had reset to a default date.)

(Final update 4/6/10: Notes on the cameras' release dates and settings added below.)]

Claims by the Israeli Defence Force* that photos show items found on board the attacked Gaza flotilla are inconsistent with data recorded by the cameras in some of the image files.

Photos uploaded to the IDF "Weapons found on Mavi Marmara - a set on Flickr" photoset on flickr. Flickr allows users to see original file data, including the date taken, through a 'more details' link.

In several significant cases these dates do not match the alleged timeline or the date the uploader asserts the photo was taken.

Images such as this one of telescopic equipment, this one of red-crescent marked bullet-proof vests and this angle grinder are date-stamped 2006:02:07 and as taken with a Nikon D2Xs. Photos of pepper spray are marked as being taken by a Pentax Optio 550 on 2003:01:01.

Other images including those of metal bars known to have been used in the fighting, slingshots and other items that are arguable normal shipboard equiptment (including knives), are stamped as being taken on the 31st of May or 1st June this year with other cameras. Some similar images do not display these details.

A note on flicker reads:

What is EXIF data?
Almost all new digital cameras save JPEG (jpg) files with EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data. Camera settings and scene information are recorded by the camera into the image file. Examples of stored information are shutter speed, date and time, focal length, exposure compensation, metering pattern and if a flash was used.
Source: Digicamhelp.

It is possible for cameras to have incorrect date settings, but in the circumstances Scoop would think it is not likely in the circumstances.


Ibn Kafka's obiter dicta: Gaza flotilla: How Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs fakes photos of seized weapons
The Arabist: The Israelis can't even get propaganda right anymore

Note: The IDF statement linked above has been amended. It previously began: "On board the Mavi Marmara ship that arrived as part of the flotilla to Gaza was a group of approximately 40 people with no identification papers, who are mercenaries belonging to the Al Qaeda terror organization. This was disclosed by the Israeli Security Cabinet, which gathered on Tuesday evening (June 1) for a special meeting."

This is reflected in the title of the webpage which remains "Attackers of the IDF soldiers are Al Qaeda mercenaries" at the time of writing.

Notes on the cameras:

The Pentax Optio 550 User's Guide (PDF, 3.2MB) states "If the camera is left without the battery for a long time, the date setting will be reset" (p13). The camera's default date setting (p143) is 2003/01/01, the same as that on the relevant photographs.
The 'Reset' menu option does not change "the date and time, language, Video output format, world time and date style" (p138).
This dpreview article carrying the announcement of the Optio 550 and 450 is dated 18 February 2003.

Instruction for setting the date in the Nikon D2XS (PDF, 19.3MB) guide show 2006/01/01 as the intial date (pp18,19). The guide also says that "The camera clock is powered by a CR1616 lithium battery with a life of about four years. If the icon is displayed in the top control panel while the exposure meters are on, the battery is running low and needs to be replaced. When the battery is exhausted, the icon will blink while the exposure meters are on. Photographs can still be taken but will not be stamped with the correct time and date, and interval timer photography will not function correctly." (p255)
The two menu options named 'reset' do not affect the time setting.
The dpreview announcement for the Nikon D2Xs is dated 1 June 2006, with a release date of July 2006. The date on flickr for photos taken with that camera is 2006:02:07 (YYYY:MM:DD).

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