By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
JERUSALEM -A significant part of any battle nowadays is waged in the media, as each sides tries to garner public support through the exploit of images and footage used to influence popular opinion.
A report by the BBC shows that the Hamas in Gaza is wasting no time in the current round of violence and has already begun to generate the imagery they use in their media battle. However, many of it falsified.
“Graphic images are being shared on social media to show how people have been affected by the renewed tensions between Israel and the Palestinians,” the BBC writes. “Over the past week the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack has been used hundreds of thousands of times, often to distribute pictures claiming to show the effects of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.” The hashtag has received 375,000 retweets in eight days. “A #BBCtrending investigation has found that many of these images are not from the latest conflict and not even from Gaza. Some date as far back as 2009 and others are from conflicts in Syria and Iraq.”
Hamas have gained a notorious reputation in this field. Tazpit’s Anav Silverman reported in 2012 that during Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ Hamas used fake ‘Gaza’ photos with false headlines, which incited a flurry of comments on Facebook against Israel. The photos were of massacres that occured in Syria the previous month, but were depicted as massacres of Gazan families by the IDF. Other such incidents reoccur persistently.