Tens of thousands of Gaza residents on Thursday saw Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on their screens, but with a surprising message.
The visuals were of Mashaal, but it was Israel who was speaking through his mouth. This happened during the broadcasts of Al Aqsa TV and Al Quds TV - two of the biggest television broadcasters in Gaza. In a video obtained by The Jerusalem Post, a speech by Mashaal is distorted to bring Gazans a message that the Hamas leader is a corrupt politician who lives a lavish life abroad, while benifitting from the suffering of Palestinian civilians.
"In the name of Allah, most gracious, most compassionate," says Mashaal in the mock video. "I want to start by thanking the excellent staff of the kitchen at my hotel."
Later, the leader speaks about hearing about what is happening in Gaza and adds: "The hotel cost me the same as the price of a hospital and three tunnels in Gaza."
Messages of this sort, according to reports on Palestinian social media, are an almost daily occurrence. Israel gains control of TV stations and broadcasts numerous videos mocking Hamas leaders.Hamas has also attempted to psychologically affect the citizens of Israel through hacking during the more than two weeks of hostilities.The organization has released a series of threatening videos on Youtube, mocking the Israeli government in Hebrew and touting the strength of Hamas. Pro-Hamas hackers succeeded last week in interrupting a live Channel 10 news broadcast with their own propaganda.Israel's leaders, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, have said repeatedly that Hamas's leaders are responsible for the suffering of the people of Gaza. The same message has now been delivered to the residents of Gaza through their own television stations and their own leader's mouth.