Back to Africa Check

Ignore social media posts claiming Israeli sniper ‘Barib Yariel’ has been killed by Hamas in Gaza

IN SHORT: An Israeli sniper named Barib Yariel has been killed by Hamas, according to some Facebook posts. But the image accompanying them has been online since 2020 and we found no evidence that an Israeli soldier by that name died in the Israel-Hamas war.

Note: This report includes details about a breaking news story. Information was, as far as possible, correct at the time of publication but may change rapidly. 

Several Facebook posts claim that an Israeli sniper named Barib Yariel has been killed by Hamas.

They are accompanied by an image of a man lying on the ground, presumably “Yariel”, holding what appears to be a sniper rifle.

“One of Israel’s best snipers Barib Yariel, was just killed by a H a m a * sniper. Yariel had a 100% success rate,” some of the captions read.

On 7 October 2023, Hamas launched an attack on Israel from Gaza. A reported 1,400 people in Israel were killed and over 200 others taken hostage.

The next day Israel responded with its own rocket strikes into Gaza and declared war on Hamas. By 27 November, the death toll in Gaza was reported to be over 15,000. At the time of writing, a ceasefire was in place with hostages and prisoners exchanged between the two sides.

The claim that an Israeli sniper was shot and killed by Hamas was also posted on X, formerly Twitter, by an account with over 2.2 million followers.

A link attached to one of the Facebook posts led us to a group on Telegram, an instant messaging service, with over 2,600 members. The group seemingly shares reports on the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

The same claim was also found on Facebook here, here, here, here, here and here.

But has Hamas killed an Israel sniper named Barib Yariel, and does the image accompanying the posts show him?


Ignore false claim with old photo

We noted that the military uniform worn by the man in the circulating image appears to match that of the Israel Defence Forces. We also noticed the Israeli flag blue and white with the Star of David on the right arm of the man in the photo. This led us to believe that the man is an Israeli soldier. 

However, a Google reverse image search showed that the photo has been online since at least 2020. 

The news agency Reuters also debunked the claim: “The name ‘Barib Yariel’ does not appear on an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) list of fallen soldiers.” 

A Google search of key phrases such as “Barib Yariel” and “Israeli sniper killed by Hamas” does not bring up any reports by trustworthy sources.

Peddling misinformation during a war could worsen tensions and cause more panic.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.