Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Depict German General Named Hafri Keer, Killed In Gaza

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Depict German General Named Hafri Keer, Killed In Gaza Made-Up Name

Does this photo show a German general named Hafri Keer, killed in Gaza during the Hamas-Israel conflict that started on October 7, 2023? No, that's not true: The man in the photograph is Gen. Carsten Breuer, Germany's chief of defense. There is no substantiated evidence to suggest that he has visited Gaza during the Hamas-Israel conflict or been involved in any incident resulting in his demise there.

The claim appeared in a video (no longer available but archived here) on TikTok by @zaroualabdess on January 6, 2023, with an overlay text (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) that read:

German General Hafri Kerr, commander of the Engineering Corps - Fifth German Corps - involved in the Gaza conflict, lost his life along with four companions when a fabricated tunnel in Shuja'iya exploded. Additionally, ten others sustained serious injuries.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-01-09 at 09.36.53.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jan 9 09:15:02 2024 UTC)

The claim gained widespread traction on TikTok, as evidenced by multiple posts found here, here and here.

Lead Stories conducted a Google Lens reverse image search (archived here) of the photo provided. The results indicate that the man in the image is not Hafri Keer. According to NATO (archived here), the person in question is Gen. Carsten Breuer, who assumed the role of Germany's chief of defense on March 17, 2023.

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 01.58.18.png

(Source: NATO screenshot taken on Wed Jan 10 00:50:14 2024 UTC)

Lead Stories examined Breuer's official X account (archived here), formerly Twitter, which did not provide any information regarding his presence in Israel or his involvement in the Hamas-Israel conflict. A search (archived here) of the Google News Index using the keywords "General," "Carsten," "Breuer" and "Israel" for the past 12 months did not reveal any source confirming his presence in Israel or reports of his death.

A search (archived here) on the Google News Index using the keywords "General," "Hafri," "Keer," "Israel" and "killed" for the past 12 months did not indicate the existence of a German general with that name or any confirmation that he was killed in Gaza during the Hamas-Israel conflict.

  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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