Israel's Air Strikes, Possible Gaza Invasion Spark Fierce Fighting With Hamas On Twitter, YouTube

Israel's air strikes yesterday and a potential invasion of the Gaza strip marked by an announcement on Twitter, has spread to a war of words on social media. Twitter feeds from both the IDF and the Alqassam Brigades have been hurling 140 characters of propaganda at each other since the campaign started yesterday. Throughout the day and night, people live-blogged the attack, posting photos on Twitter and turning #gaza and #gazaunderattack into liveblogs.

Footage of yesterday's assassination of the Hamas commander, Ahmed Al-Jabari, went up on YouTube almost immediately. YouTube, however, is no stranger to conflict in the Middle East. The deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and other diplomatic workers in September was linked to an inflammatory anti-Islam video put up by a pro-Israeli Californian.

This, however, may be the first time that the name of a military operation has been turned into a hashtag.

[Ed note: We've inserted the words "possible" and "potential" into this story's headline and opening paragraph respectively, to reflect that an invasion has not yet happened.]

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  • Mohamed

    what about the thousands of civilians killed by the Israelis????
    What about the occupation??? it might be the only remaining occupied state in the 21st century!!!
    This is a disgrace to humanity and to whoever supports the terrorism committed by the state of Israel. And if you are trying to convince us that they are protecting their civilians, the best way to do this is by ending the occupation. As long as you occupy and kill civilians, don't complain about your causalities, after all "AN eye for any eye" and the Israelis have poked so many eyes. If history teaches us anything, it tells us that the same story had happened several times, ironically in the same land, and at the end the occupation comes to an end and the occupiers leave ... and leave they will.

  • Ishmael

    Oh, the thousands of civilians killed by Israelis. Right, almost forgot about that. And let's also not forget the international Jewish banking conspiracy. 

    As has been repeated many times, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

  • Mohamed

    Banking conspiracy ???? we are talking about Ghaza and not Wall street...... 
    You can check the numbers issued by international organizations like the UN, and if the 1100 civilians killed in 2009 by the Israelis don't constitute a fact, (I'm not including the millions displaced from their own homes and lands and not counting the tens of thousands killed by the Israeli gangs and mobs from 1945-1948, and not mentioning the thousands killed in Lebanon in 1982, ..... maybe these are not also facts!!) then we need to recheck so many "facts" surrounding the Jewish "return" to the "promised land" and so many other "facts".
    For a state that was wholly established around a historical myth, its ironic to argue about facts!!!!

  • Naqba

    Hamas never stopped firing on Israel even after the withdrawl.
    And about the siege, what about the Egyptian border - is that an Israeli siege too? I haven't noticed any missiles and rockets landing on the Egyptian part of Rafiah.
    Fact is, Palestine was never a country. Jews have always lived there, even under Ottoman rule, same as the local Palestinians (and one could argue where they came from in such numbers). 
    But again, you don't want a real solution. Face it, Israel is staying put, so either accept that fact and move on and try to find a real solution or go on having a blood bath every once in a while.
    And about the west bank, Arafat had a chance to get most of it and refused it in 2000. In 1947 the UN ruled for a Palestine on 45% of the area comprising modern-day Israle and the west bank, and the Palestinian leadership refused it. So before you shout aggression, take a long hard look at yourself and the decisions you've made over the years. You are as much to blame for your situation (and don't get me wrong, I would rather see all Israeli settlemenst on the west bank destroyed and the entire area handed over to the local population.) But again, you'd just rather go on being victims and showing your old house keys around.

  • Mohamed

    We can go back as much as you want, maybe to when Jews from around the world began to settle in Palestine (the mythical "promised land" ) and started to horrify people out of their homes and villages.7 years since the alleged withdrawal from Ghaza, and the bombings and killings didn't stop. Israel imposed a siege on it after Hamas won the elections,  so it didn't leave them alone as you're trying to imply.
    The west bank is another saga. Who said that the Israelis will leave the west bank, or what is left from the west bank (I'm not going to even mention Jerusalem). The settlements have eaten most of it and the remaining parts are scattered and have no land connections between them.
    They want to build their homes and live their lives, but it only comes with one condition: "accept being humiliated on daily basis", either at a check-point while going to work or by food (where a 18 years-old solider can curse or slab an 80 years-old Palestinian simply for the joy of it) or when crossing the borders (if you are allowed to begin with).
    No body loves to play victim, and this what they decided to do, and this what is known in international law as "resisting occupation" or "fighting for freedom" if it sounds better.

  • Naqba

    Well, we can go back to the days of Abraham when Sara kicked out Hagar and her son Ishmael, I guess Israelis should be blamed for that as well.
    For every 1945-1948 "gangs" and "mobs" I can bring up a 1936-9, 1929 or 1921... So how far back do you want to go?
    How about this - Israel withdrew from Gaza 7 years ago, and since then this border is in constant flux. Instead of focusing on making Gaza a country to live in, it is turned more and more into a war zone by its leaders with Israel playing a supporting role. 
    And with all the sympathy to the Palestinian cause, a video of the Hamas PM Haniya displaying proudly the blood of a supposedly dead one year old speaks strongly on what their leaders are all about.

    If you guys would simply stop righting all wrongs and dredging up all of history and try and focus on rebuilding your homes and making a good life of it, things would be better all around. Israel was once willing to withdraw from all of the west bank, and that might be possible. But if you continue to dream of turning back the wheel a hundred years, just more fighting will continue.
    But I guess you don't really want that, it's much easier remaining a victim.

  • Jeff Berman

    Beyond the skewed perspective, you repeat the lie that "The deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and other diplomatic workers in September was linked to an inflammatory anti-Islam video put up by a pro-Israeli Californian."

    There was no pro-Israeli person involved, and the murders in Bengazi were the result of a coordinated terrorist attack that had nothing to do with any video. Ask the President of the United States about it.

  • Jeff Berman

    12,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza, targeted at Israeli civilians, since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. 1,000 just this year, and 150 in the last three days.

    Imagine Mexico were launching these rockets into the U.S., or Ireland into England, or any country you can think of into its neighbor. What would be the response? Why, when the target is Israeli civilians, your headline is entirely about the targeted Israeli response?

    Your reporting is, at a minimum, irresponsible.

  • Abigail Pick

    While the concept of this article may present an interesting perspective on Twitter's use, it is disappointing that Fast Company, a supposed well respected media outlet, has framed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a false and unfair manner.  
    Israel's so called "Gaza Invasion" is a response to defend its citizens from over 1000 rockets fired from Gaza (from which Israel withdrew in 2005) into Israel this year. Your article does not present the truth and it does not, even in the Twitter screen capture image above, mention that Israel is only acting out of self defense to protect its innocent civilians.What would you do if 200 rockets were fired into your home town today, killing 3 innocent civilians?  Would your response to defend yourself, your town, and your nation be considered an invasion?