The Israeli Army’s YouTube channel
Palestinian radicals have used the ‘net to spread an anti-Israeli message
As fighting rages in the Gaza Strip an unprecedented ‘virtual war’ is being joined in cyberspace.
A furious public information battle is taking place on sites ranging from YouTube to Facebook between the Israeli state and Hamas.
It is part of an attempt by Israel’s political leaders to use the internet to spread their message and has seen the country’s Army, the IDF, becoming the first ever national force to set up their own YouTube channel.
More than 4,000 people have already subscribed to the IDF channel,
launched on December 29, which shows constantly updated video footage of bombing raids from drones targeting Hamas infrastructure.
The Israeli consulate in New York has also hosted what is likely to be the world’s first ever press conference on Twitter.
The Hamas web operation has also sprung into action online. The group has relied on shocking images of civilian casualties taken by local media workers to rally people to its cause. The images have also been placed on Islamist websites, along with messages calling for Israel’s destruction.
Hamas-supporting hackers have launched their own guerrilla conflict, targeting Israeli-run websites of all descriptions with around 300 reportedly defaced or taken offline in the first weekend of the conflict alone.
Nevertheless Hamas has produced nothing to rival the organisation and sophistication of Israel’s PR war. Explaining the focus on information, Israeli military spokeswoman Major Avital Leibovich said: “The blogosphere and new media are another war zone and we have to be relevant there.”
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert assures President Bush that Israel is focusing its attack on Hamas and trying to limit civilian casualties. Israel began launching air strikes into Gaza last Saturday in response to rocket strikes by Hamas. (Dec. 31)
Found at Twitter link above:
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