No evidence ‘IDF general killed in Hamas conflict’ exists

29 November 2023
What was claimed

General Irwin Baran, of Israel's Special Operations and incursions Brigade, has been killed in Gaza.

Our verdict

This is false. The man pictured in the post is a different soldier and there is no evidence a person named Irwin Baran was a general in the Israel Defence Force.

A post circulating on social media falsely claims to show an image of an Israeli general named General Irwin Baran, who it says has been killed in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

It states that “Israel confirmed the death of the commander of Israel's Special Operations and incursions Brigade”, General Irwin Baran. The post uses a picture of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing next to a man in combat fatigues. Other posts share the same picture with the soldier’s face crossed out.

The post has been widely shared on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) since 21 November.

However the man pictured who is alleged to have been killed is not General Irwin Baran, and there is no evidence that anyone called “General Irwin Baran” serves within the Israel Defence Force (IDF).

When asked about the death of a senior officer of that name, the Israeli Army told fact checkers AFP: “We know nothing of such an event.”

There is a serving general in the IDF named Amir Baram. Major General Baram is the Deputy Chief of Staff within the Israeli military—however he is not the man claimed to be "Irwin Baran" in the picture.

There is also no evidence that the “Special Operations and incursions Brigade” is a regiment within the Israeli military.

The photo is taken from a series of pictures published together with a statement by the Israeli government on 13 November on Facebook, about a visit by Mr Netanyahu to the IDF Desert Patrol Battalion 585—also known as the Bedouin Patrol Battalion.

The soldier pictured with Mr Netanyahu appears to be identified as Acting Battalion Commander Lt.-Col. Nader Eyadat, who was giving a briefing about combat activity in the area.

The two leaves on the epaulettes the soldier is pictured wearing mean that he is of Lieutenant Colonel rank in the IDF. Generals in the army would have an emblem of a sword crossed with an olive branch on their insignia.

We’ve seen misinformation relating to the Israel-Gaza conflict appear in many different forms, including fake subtitles, altered official documents and misleading videos. You can find more of our work countering false claims on the subject here.

Image courtesy of Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa) in contract with APAimages

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