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Israel brings Gaza airstrikes to the Web January 6, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel, News Commentry.
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As reported by CNET:

The Israel Defense Forces this week extended its airstrikes on Gaza to the Web, posting video footage of its air assault against Hamas militants on YouTube and using Twitter to spread its message.

According to various news reports, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) created its own YouTube channel carrying videos that include black-and-white aerial footage of attacks on Hamas weapon sites, and clips of Hamas terrorists loading rockets into trucks.

An IDF spokesperson said it is using the platform to “help us bring our message to the world,” by offering “exclusive footage showing the IDF’s operation success” in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces YouTube channel has 34 videos so far, and with over 13,000 subscribers and 970,000 channel views, seems to be a popular channel.

However, it’s important to note that what Israel says they are doing is not always the case, as highlighted in the BBC news article, Propaganda war: trusting what we see?

Israel released video of an air attack on 28 December, which appeared to show rockets being loaded onto a lorry. The truck and those close to it were then destroyed by a missile.

This was clear evidence, the Israelis said, of how accurate their strikes were and how well justified. A special unit it has set up to coordinate its informational plan put the video onto YouTube as part of its effort to use modern means of communications to get Israel’s case across.

The YouTube video has a large caption on it saying “Grad missiles being loaded onto the Hamas vehicle.” As of Saturday morning UK time, more than 260,000 people had watched it.

It turned out, however, that a 55-year-old Gaza resident named Ahmed Sanur, or Samur, claimed that the truck was his and that he and members of his family and his workers were moving oxygen cylinders from his workshop.

This workshop had been damaged when a building next door was bombed by the Israelis and he was afraid of looters, he said.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem put Mr Sanur’s account on its website, together with a photograph of burned out oxygen cylinders.

Mr Sanur said that eight people, one of them his son, had been killed. He subsequently told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “These were not Hamas, they were our children… They were not Grad missiles.”.

It seems like Israel is also using Twitter to justify it’s attack against Gaza, with the Israel Consulate in New York recently signing up and holding a Twitter conference.

With Israel banning international media from Gaza, despite the supreme court ordering the government to allow foreign reporters in, it’s hard to get the real truth, and there’s little incentive for Israel to tell us what’s really going on.

Fortunately, Al-Jazeera were in Gaza already and have been reporting from the inside.  Track updates on the AJGaza Twitter account, and the AlJazeeraEnglish channel on YouTube (which has footage you won’t see on US television, as US companies refuse to carry AlJazeera, depriving Americans the right to see what’s really going on).

Hopefully we’ll see an end to these attacks soon.  Various organizations have online petitions (such as CAIR), and are holding protests around the US, and around the world, calling for Israel to stop it’s bombardment of Gaza and embrace a ceasefire.

The time to speak up for justice and humanity is now.

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