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Fake selfie shows cops chasing rapper

Palestinian hip hop artist posts staged photo of himself being pursued by band members dressed as police

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A photograph that appears to have been taken by Arab-Israeli rapper Tamer Nafar of himself running down the street with two Israeli border policemen — one of whom is brandishing a gun — in hot pursuit has gained popularity as one of the best ‘selfies’ ever taken.

Too bad it’s a fake.

The picture was posted to the Twitter feed of Lod-based rap group DAM at midday on Monday and 24 hours later had scored nearly 15,000 retweets and over 7,500 “favorites” as other users shared the image around the Internet.

In the photo, wide-eyed and wide-mouthed Nafar seems to have snapped the moment by holding up a rearward pointing camera above his head to capture the “policemen,” dressed in the uniforms of Israel’s border police as they come after him.

Nafar titled the shot “A selfie while the Israeli military running after me.” [sic] without offering any further explanation.

However, the Buzzfeed news media website reported on Tuesday that an unnamed source close to DAM had admitted the photo was staged.

The cops are in fact fellow band members Suhell Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri.

On its website, DAM — short for Da Arabian MCs — claims to be the first Palestinian hip hop crew, formed in the late 1990s after being inspired by the “uncanny resemblance of the reality of the streets” in their home neighborhood of Lod, near Tel Aviv, and scenes in a music video from American rapper Tupac Shakur.

As for the Nafar’s selfie, it is perhaps further proof that when it comes to photographs, seeing is no longer believing.

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