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Warring sides in Gaza conflict campaign through social media

Source: Reuters - Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:42 PM
Author: Reuters
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For six days, Israelis and Palestinian militants have been battling in the air -- with one rocket attack after another.

But amid speculation the two are headed for a ground war...

...Israelis and Palestinians are competing on another important battlefield -- social media.

In handout video from the Israeli foreign ministry, an elderly woman is seen cooking when a siren goes off.

She only has 15 seconds to reach the shelter, but she can't get down the stairs.

Another video purports to show the Israeli army issuing a warning to Palestinian civilians before launching air strikes.

Israel's foreign ministry spokesperson says that social media is crucial to reaching people.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAEL FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, YIGAL PALMOR, SAYING:

"There's a whole conversation taking place online, on various internet platforms and social media. If you want to be part of the conversation, which we do, you need to be there, with your case, your materials, your say."

Palestinian militants are also sharing videos online.

This one shows them operating in underground concrete bunkers.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, residents watch news clips of the fighting on their mobile phones.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT FROM HEBRON, MUHANAD AL-NATSHEH, SAYING:

"There is a video that I watched about a child who is looking for his mother and brothers and family between the mess and what is left from the home. It is hard to explain that or talk about it, so what we do throughout Facebook and other social media sites is we try to share these videos to our friends and the people we know abroad."

As the latest outbreak of violence rages on, so too does the battle to influence international public opinion.

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