IDF Boosting Online Advocacy through Use of Social Media
Israeli army defending Israel on Facebook and Twitter
The Israeli Defense Forces' social media team appears to be heightening its use of Facebook and Twitter, increasingly posting updates on both IDF activities in Israel and Palestinian activities in Gaza.
On June 14, the IDF posted a Facebook album featuring seven photos with the title, “Islamic Jihad Kindergarten Graduation in Gaza.” In each of the photos, several children are dressed in military uniforms and holding weapons and marching around while waving Palestinian flags.
Children in Gaza celebrate their kindergarten graduation. Photo: IDF Facebook page
“I love the resistance and the martyrs and Palestine, and I want to blow myself up on Zionists and kill them on a bus in a suicide bombing,” a Gaza kindergarten graduate is quoted as saying in one of the captions.
In two of the photos, a child wearing sunglasses, a kippah and a military uniform resembling that of the IDF, pretends to torture Palestinian children in prison.
A child pretending to be an IDF soldier tortures Palestinian prisoners during the celebration. Photo: IDF Facebook page
“Palestinian children in an Islamic Jihad kindergarten just celebrated their graduation in Gaza. Was your graduation like this? Where’s the cake and cookies?” the IDF wrote on Facebook. “SHARE these photos with your friends and help spread the truth about the indoctrination of children in Gaza.”
Later in the day, the IDF posted an infographic on Facebook to report on Gaza Strip land crossing activities between June 3 and June 9.
“Did you know that every day, Israel sends truckloads of goods and gas into the Gaza Strip?” reads the photo caption. “Well, if you didn't know, then the time has come to polish up on your knowledge of what's going on in Gaza. By sharing this status with your friends, you too will help set the facts straight.”
So far, close to 2,000 people have both “liked” and shared the photo with their Facebook friends, which gives them an exact breakdown of the 1,212 truckloads of supplies that were reportedly transferred from Israel to the Gaza Strip during the previous week. According to the IDF, 320 of these trucks were carrying food products, 19 were carrying medicine and other medical equipment, while 35 were carrying clothing and footwear.
Earlier this week, the IDF began increasing the speed of its updates on rockets fired from Gaza that have hit Israel to keep up with the increasing pace of the attacks themselves.
“During 2012 over 275 rockets were fired at #Israel from the #Gaza Strip,” the IDF tweeted on Sunday.
“Since midnight, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have fired 16 rockets into southern Israel. Israelis living near Gaza have only 15 seconds to find shelter when they hear the alarm,” the IDF posted on Tuesday.
Among the other constant Twitter updates by the IDF feed throughout the past week, the army also debunked false reports on Tuesday claiming that Israel had killed a Palestinian child.
“False claims regarding death of a Palestinian child: #IDF did not attack in that area,” read one of the tweets. “10-15% of rocket launch attempts from #Gaza backfire - here it ended in the death of a Palestinian child.”
The following day, the IDF posted a Facebook photo of rockets being launched from Gaza, with the words, “50 rockets hit Israel in the last three days” written in large, bold letters across the picture.
Photo: IDF Facebook page
“Over a million people have less than 60 seconds to protect themselves before the rocket falls,” reads the caption at the bottom of the photo. “SHARE this picture, because the mainstream media will not.”
Despite the rocket attacks, the IDF made sure to update the public again on Thursday on the continued transfer of supplies to Gaza, the launch site of those same rockets.
“Yesterday, the #IDF facilitated the transfer of 269 trucks with a variety of goods and 185 tons of gas to #Gaza.”
Since Wednesday, over 42,000 people have shared the photo while close to 8,000 have “liked” it.
“#Truthis that 130 rockets hit #Israel from Gaza during the last 3 days and no one in the mainstream media talks about it,” the IDF tweeted on Thursday. “This morning, 8 more rockets fired from #Gaza hit #Israel.”