Israel-Hamas: An Information War


Courtesy of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) website, ‘The Hamas Terrorist Organization’ page

Liberal pro-Hamas protestors and supporters worldwide are flooding social media with disinformation to public and diplomatic opinion against Israel, cutting off international aid and ensuring Hamas’s survival.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has transcended the Gaza combat zone, evolving into an information war. Key battles are now fought in digital and media landscapes, where the victor shapes public perception, influences international opinion, and gains political leverage. Both Israel and Hamas have heavily invested in disseminating their narratives through social media, traditional media, and diplomatic communications.

Hamas leverages imagery and storytelling to portray itself as a defender of Palestinian rights and a victim of Israeli aggression. By highlighting civilian suffering in Gaza, Hamas seeks international sympathy and support. This approach often uses dramatic visuals, such as images of destroyed homes and wounded children, which quickly spread across social media. Hamas has been accused of using “crisis actors” who pretend to be injured and of circulating old videos of people injured months or years before the conflict began.

Social media have become powerful weapons, with platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram flooded with posts, videos, and hashtags from both sides. The speed and reach of social media allow for rapid dissemination of information but also facilitate the spread of misinformation and propaganda. Both Israel and Hamas have been accused of spreading false or misleading information to bolster their narratives. However, the accusations against Israel are themselves disinformation spread by pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas actors. Hamas’s disinformation includes false claims that Israel killed Palestinian civilians to harvest their organs.

Major points of Hamas disinformation include accusations that Israel uses hunger as a strategy of war, deliberately targets civilians in Gaza as part of a “genocide,” and the ironic claim that Zionism is a White Supremacist ideology.

A myth circulating claims that Israel uses hunger as a strategy of war. In reality, Israel enforces blockades and restrictions to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza. Humanitarian aid, food, and medical supplies are allowed into Gaza with international coordination to ensure civilian needs are met. From January to April this year, food imports to Gaza increased by 53%, meeting international standards for food security. Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) facilitated nearly 15,000 trucks carrying over 227,000 tons of food, ensuring daily nutritional requirements were met.

Another myth is that Israel deliberately targets civilians in Gaza and is committing “genocide.” These claims originate from Hamas’ “Ministry of Health” and are therefore suspect. Despite being cited by the UN and other international organizations, these numbers are highly questionable. They have been repeatedly debunked as inconsistent, focusing on “women and children” without providing data on killed militants. According to the IDF, over 13,000 terrorists have been killed in Gaza, including 18 of 24 battalion structures.

Civilian casualties are a certainty in the fighting, but reliable data is lacking. Israel traditionally strives to avoid civilian casualties for both moral and strategic reasons. The IDF distributed pamphlets, sent SMS messages, and made phone calls advising civilians to leave targeted areas. Over 1.5 million Palestinian civilians successfully evacuated from areas of conflict. However, Hamas and Iran use these allegations to delegitimize Israel’s right to self-defense by manipulating the numbers.

It’s important to note that while Hamas led the October 7 attack, many civilians also participated in the atrocities, invading Israel and committing acts of murder, rape, torture, and looting. Numerous videos and substantial evidence confirm this. Additionally, opinion polls show that 70% of Palestinians support the October 7 massacre. This claim contradicts the IDF’s focus on Hamas-controlled urban warfare – if Israel intended to commit “genocide” against Palestinians, its military superiority would have allowed it to target large civilian concentrations in evacuation zones, but no such action occurred.

Finally, there is a myth that Zionism is a White Supremacist ideology, initially propagated by TRT and other Arab media outlets, later adopted by pro-Palestine and anti-Israel protestors in the West. Historically, Jews have not been considered white in Europe and the US. In Israel, Jews come from diverse backgrounds, having been dispersed globally. While many Jews have Ashkenazi backgrounds associated with European origins, the majority in Israel are actually Mizrahi and Sephardic, originating from Arabic and Islamic countries and often having darker skin tones.

The information war has significant implications for international opinion and diplomatic relations. Public sentiment can influence government policies, aid decisions, and diplomatic stances. Widespread sympathy for the Palestinian cause can increase pressure on Israel and lead to sanctions, complicating U.S. weapon provisions. The Israel-Hamas conflict, along with the Ukraine War, may be the first modern information war, highlighting the need for the U.S. defense and intelligence communities to counter disinformation. The West must also question how its young people fell under the spell of disinformation and are supporting Hamas, an organization that would kill Christians, Jews, non-Muslims, gays, and liberals while stripping rights from women.

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Dr. Antonio Graceffo, PhD, China MBA, is an economist and national security analyst with a focus on China and Russia. He is a graduate of American Military University.

You can email Antonio Graceffo here, and read more of Antonio Graceffo's articles here.


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