RT and Idfblog.com on November 16, 2012, reported that the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) assault on Gaza – the biggest in more than three years – has been accompanied by an equally aggressive social media offensive with sites like twitter used to publicize and justify the attack on Gaza. Excerpts below:
The Israeli Defense Force has used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other popular platforms to make the case for its campaign in Gaza as well as to issue a warning to Hamas.
After taking out Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari with a precision guided bomb, the IDF tweeted a chilling warning to Hamas: “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”
The news about the Jabari assassination went to the ‘twittersphere’ even before it was announced to the media during a military briefing, which can be arguably called the first declaration of war on a micro-blog.
IDF’s Facebook page is full of graphics explaining the threat that rockets fired from Gaza pose to Israeli civilians and calling to share them in sign of support for Israel’s right to retaliate. There are also videos of air strikes on Hamas operatives, including the one that killed Jabari.
Primarily it’s a warning to Hamas militants in Gaza, but it also appeals to Israeli public opinion as a show of spirited resistance and appeals to international public opinion that the killing was a targeted attack on a terrorist with minimum civilian casualties.
But there is a more sinister side to Israel’s killing of Jabari. For several years he has been Israelis partner in Gaza. After the 2009 Israeli “Cast Lead” assault on Gaza, Israel made a deal with Hamas. As long as Jabari kept the rockets from raining down on Israel, Israel would keep the cash and aid trucks rolling in.
However, in the last few weeks, the rockets started flying again and Jerusalem blamed Jabari. As Defense Minister Ehud Barak put it, “in the Middle East there is no second chance for the weak”.