Faced with nonstop pictures of death and destruction in Gaza, Israel’s National Information Directorate has launched a social media campaign showing pictures of Gaza misery under quotes by Hamas heads admitting the value and importance of human shields.
“The Palestinian blood that is spilled is precious, but the goals for which this blood is spilled are even more precious,” Khalil al-Hayya, the deputy chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was quoted as saying on July 21, over a picture of a crying woman.
The name of the campaign is “Hamas sacrifices Gaza for its extremism.”
Another picture quotes Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh as saying on July 21 that “the resistance protects its people who are paying with their pure blood.” And another picture quotes Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri as saying on July 9, “The blood of the shahids [“martyrs”] killed in this campaign is the fuel of our victory.”
One official involved in the campaign explained its rationale as the belief that the only way to counteract the images of carnage beamed across the world from Gaza is by showing the world that Hamas wanted and planned that carnage, and providing the quotes to back this up.
The campaign is also providing visual support for one of Israel’s key messages – that Hamas is responsible for the misery in Gaza because it fires on Israel and places its command centers in civilian areas.
The official said Israel wanted to impress upon the world that it is not as though the battle started elsewhere and “rolled into civilian areas” such as Shejaia (a neighborhood of Gaza City); rather, Hamas set up its command centers, rocket launchers and attack tunnels in civilian areas to begin with.
The purpose of the campaign, the official said, is to show the context to the suffering in Gaza, and to show that Hamas is “sacrificing its people on the altar of its radical ideology.”
The campaign is appearing on English-language and various Arabic social media.