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How Israel lost the media battle against the resistance

October 24, 2023 at 3:23 pm

Social media applications TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitch are displayed on a smart phone screen September 30, 2021 [Ali Balıkçı/Anadolu Agency]

At a time when the resistance continues to confront the occupation’s violent attack against Gaza, the occupation is expressing serious concerns about Hamas’ success in managing the war media battle, and its ability to direct public opinion in favour of the Palestinian people, despite the occupation’s great efforts to promote its propaganda.

This is even with Israel establishing a new work cell, during the current aggression, to manage the battle for public opinion against Hamas, which continues to take steps forward in its psychological war against the occupation. The latest step was the video of the female French Jewish prisoner in Gaza, as every second of this tape was carefully planned, as was the timing of its release. It was not a coincidence that they chose this particular prisoner, as Hamas knew which of the prisoners would convey the message to the world in the best way.

Social media platforms are cracking down on journalists and activists who are reporting from Gaza - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Social media platforms are cracking down on journalists and activists who are reporting from Gaza – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The Israelis are also waging a propaganda battle on the Internet to confront what Hamas and its supporters are doing in various languages, in light of the poor performance of the Israeli Ministry of Information in producing dozens of information videos, and revealing its serious and profound failure, while the movement distributes thousands of leaflets every day through the Internet to spread its story about the ongoing war, in various languages.

The Israeli attack against Gaza has become one of the most popular topics discussed on the Internet. Hamas faces an open war on social media as the platforms’ administrations agreed to fight Palestinian content in a way that serves the occupation. However, the movement uses these platforms to push information and news that adopts its narrative, including posting photos and videos, especially on Facebook, X, Instagram and TikTok.

READ: Who will stop the Gaza Holocaust?

The resistance continues to wage its battle on the media front, to respond to the psychological warfare carried out by the occupation authorities against the Palestinian people within a coordinated campaign.

The Gaza war turned the tables on the usual Israeli capabilities in the field of propaganda. The resistance surprised it before the outbreak of the battle with focused and frequent media messages, aimed at confusing the Israeli political and military levels, and striking the home front. The Israelis admit that the resistance showed great superiority in the media discourse capabilities of its leaders and statements, as well as managing the psychological warfare and the new media movement, and several Palestinian X users led this campaign in reconciling victory and oppression together.

With the start of the battle, Israeli circles observed that the resistance continued to spread its influential media messages, which varied in form, content and goals on an almost daily basis, which led many Israeli commentators and experts to confirm that Tel Aviv lost the psychological war early on to the resistance.

The strength of the resistance’s psychological warfare messages did not come out of nowhere. They were prepared and the content was formulated by specialists and experts in psychological warfare, which indicates the level of major development it achieved at various levels and in various fields. it left the clearest impact on the nature of the occupation’s management of its battle, which was marred by a lot of confusion and mistakes, as well as the weakness of the Israeli society and its internal front, to the point that prompted prominent Israeli media platforms to warn against falling into the trap of Hamas propaganda.

The resistance has been sending video messages, which it broadcasts on its websites, directed at the settlers. It is customary for the resistance to broadcast short videos showing its ability to target Israeli aircraft during the ongoing confrontation through pictures of planes flying in the Gaza sky, coming to bomb the enclave, only to be targeted by the resistance and shot down.

All of this gave the resistance the opportunity to succeed in dealing a blow to the army’s status, causing a deep psychological shock to the Israelis, manipulating the nerves of their leadership, and scoring a point in its favour in the psychological war against them. It used this “new tactic” to prove its ability to move the battle from Gaza to Israel.

When the resistance announced that it would bomb Ashkelon with new missiles at exactly five o’clock in the evening, it used part of the psychological warfare that the Israelis had long been using against the Palestinians. Thus, both sides used psychological warfare as a second weapon on the front, in which each party sought to establish an image of victory, and day after day its psychological impact of this war grew, and the media seemed to be an important part of it, including social media.

Israelis waited to see if the resistance would come through on its promise. In the end, the rockets were fired on time, then life returned to its routine in the city, and when the sirens sounded, the Israelis headed for shelters.

READ: Israel’s war on Gaza is counterproductive

We can say that the resistance in the Gaza war appeared with new propaganda that was able to advance its media discourse, and at the same time plunged the occupation army into a quagmire of misguidance, which is not something it is accustomed to. This success is due to the resistance’s realisation that the battle with the occupation is not purely military but is also waged on the security and media levels.

Based on this deep understanding and given its acknowledgement of the nature of the battle with the occupation, the resistance adopted a media policy that relies on misleading and confusing the enemy, and not providing any information that might benefit it. This is especially important because of the limited geographical area in which the resistance operates in Gaza.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.