CNN ranked Israel’s use of micro-blogging site Twitter during the Jewish state’s recent Operation Pillar of Defense on its list of the “Top 12 Tech Stories in 2012,” for revolutionizing how involved parties communicate with each other during wartime.
Twitter’s social networking platform has been intimately tied to the documentation of evolving events during warfare and social conflicts since its inception. Its short update format and advanced tagging functions allow for real time monitoring of conflict in a way that had been largely unattainable before the social media revolution. In November, Twitter became a means of communication between the warring parties themselves.
At the onset of Israel’s operation, on November 14th, the Israel Defense Forces’ Twitter account @IDFSpokesperson, announced that they had eliminated an important target: Terror group Hamas’ second-in-command, Ahmed Jabari. The notification was accompanied by a graphic that documented his crimes against Israel and its people. This triggered a flurry of taunts from Hamas’ own twitter feed. When the IDF subsequently tweeted “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead,” Hamas’ Al-qassam brigade responded: “Our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are (You Opened Hell Gates on Yourselves.)”