IDF-Hamas Gaza Twitter War: the Spin in Real Time

The Twitter feed for the Israel Defense Force, @IDFSpokesperson, is a cross between Rambo and your grandmother

Real-life war always has its propaganda machine, and now Israel and Hamas have taken to Twitter to press their cases as violence mounts in their very dangerous part of the world.

Each has its own style. The Twitter feed for the Israel Defense Force, @IDFSpokesperson, is a cross between Rambo and your grandmother. 

“Good morning to our friends in #America," went the @IDFSpokesperson. "While you were sleeping, 3 Israelis were killed when a rocket hit their house.”

Hamas’ feed, @alqassambrigade, is prone to photos of bloodied children, while @hamasinfo — the “international office of the Hamas movement “ — is entirely in Arabic and photo-free.

“Medical sources: Death toll in #Gaza hit19 martyrs including 6 children, a woman two elders and more than 180 injuries,” came the @alqassambrigade tweet on Thursday.

The IDF struck back: “Hamas has suffered a severe blow to its underground infrastructure, but it still maintains a capability to fire long-range rockets,” the IDF tweeted at midday on Thursday.

That was followed by: “Terrorist groups in Gaza fire rockets from residential areas. Would you raise your child in such a neighborhood? #Hamas”

The tweet links to a  video of the al-Quds brigade firing rockets into Israel from Gaza.

Apart from the guilt tactics, the Israeli messaging veers strongly toward bad-ass.  In a video that looks straight out of “Black Hawk Down,”  the IDF posts aerial, 10-second footage of the killing of Hamas' military chief Ahmed Jabari — up to the moment his car explodes in a fireball.

The IDF tweets do not go unnoticed. A Turkish Twitterer, Cafer Koçbaşı, lobbed: “WE ARE TURKISH TIVAYTIR TEAM AND COMING TO KICK SOME JEWISH ASS. WE HAVE RT'S AND FAVS. F— YOU @IDFSpokesperson

The IDF tweet  about so-called “Piillar of Defense” operation — “Our latest count: 245 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel since yesterday” — got this rejoinder from  Ghada Shahbender @gadasha:

@IDFSpokesperson Do you by any chance have a figure for those fired by Israeli Occupying Forces on #Gaza?! #PillarOfCowardice

Hamas could not resist tweaking the IDF. After putting up a video of an Israeli drone being shot down, came the tweet to #idfelite: Alqassam Brigades ‏@AlqassamBrigade

@idfelite enjoy this>> losers

The war is just beginning, it seems, but on Twitter IDF is ahead in the numbers: with 109,000 followers to Alqassam Brigades 12,065 at midday on Thursday. (@hamasinfo has 18,881 followers at last check.)