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July 16, 2014 2

Hamas’s Ongoing Social Media War

Update: July 17 — Since this blog was posted, the Al Aqsa Today, Quds TVandIzzat Al Risheq Face­book pages are no longer available.

As Hamas con­tin­ues to tar­get Israelis with rock­ets from Gaza, the Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion is using a range of Inter­net and social media plat­forms to dis­sem­i­nate its pro­pa­ganda, news and updates.hamas-social-media-twitter-facebook-youtube-rockets

The fol­low­ing is a sam­pling of Twit­ter han­dles, YouTube chan­nels, Face­book pages, Google+ pages and other online plat­forms being exploited by Hamas. While some Inter­net plat­forms have made efforts to cur­tail these efforts in the past by remov­ing Hamas-run accounts, the ter­ror­ist group con­tin­ues to actively engage on all of these sites.

In addi­tion to these accounts, there are count­less oth­ers oper­ated by sup­port­ers of the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion and in var­i­ous languages.

The ADL’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide enables the com­mu­nity to reg­is­ter con­cerns with Inter­net ser­vice providers when they encounter ter­ror­ist con­tent such as this.

 Hamas Media Office

The Hamas press office and Infor­ma­tion Agency. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Twitter.

  • Media Office – Hamas The Twit­ter han­dle for the Hamas Media Office.  It is cross-linked with the Twit­ter feeds of senior Hamas polit­i­cal leaders.

Izzedeen al-Qassam Brigades

The Izzedeen al-Qassam Brigades (short­ened to ‘Qas­sam Brigades’) is the Hamas mil­i­tary wing. This is the wing of Hamas that has stock­piled and devel­oped weapons includ­ing rock­ets and drones and is fir­ing them at Israel. In addi­tion to web­sites in Ara­bic, Hebrew and Eng­lish, the Qas­sam Brigades has active pres­ence on Twit­ter, YouTube and Google+.

  • Qas­sam Media The Twit­ter han­dle for the Qas­sam Brigades. Vis­i­tors are directed to this page via link from the Qas­sam Brigades website.
  • Al-Qassam Brigades The Hebrew-language Twit­ter han­dle for the Qas­sam Brigades. It is also some­times retweeted by the Ara­bic Qas­sam Brigades feed. Vis­i­tors are directed to this page via link from the Hebrew lan­guage Qas­sam Brigades website.
  • Resis­tance MediaThe Google+ Page for the Qas­sam Brigades. It is cross-linked and shares con­tent with the Qas­sam Brigades’ Resis­tance Media YouTube channel.
  • Resis­tance Media– The YouTube chan­nel for the Qas­sam Brigades. The Qas­sam Brigades web­site directs vis­i­tors to this chan­nel via link. Many of the videos have Eng­lish titles.
  • Pales­tine IntifadaYouTube chan­nel appar­ently linked to Hamas and the Qas­sam Brigades. Most, if not all videos on this chan­nel are offi­cial Qas­sam Brigades videos. They have been Tweeted by offi­cial Qas­sam Brigades twit­ter accounts

Izzat Al Risheq

Izzat Al Risheq is a Hamas spokesman and senior offi­cial. There are active Face­book and Twit­ter accounts in his name.

  • Izzat Al RisheqThe Face­book page for Izaat Al Risheq. It fea­tures the same con­tent as his Twit­ter feed.
  • Izzat Risheq The Twit­ter han­dle for Izaat Al Risheq. This is one of only two accounts that the Hamas Twit­ter account follows.

Al Aqsa TV

Al Aqsa TV is a Hamas-run tele­vi­sion sta­tion that pro­motes ter­ror­ist activ­ity and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Face­book, Twit­ter and YouTube.

  • Al Aqsa Today – The Face­book page for Al Aqsa TV. The Al Aqsa TV web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • Al Aqsa TV Chanel The Twit­ter han­dle for Al Aqsa TV. The Al Aqsa TV web­site directs vis­i­tors to this han­dle via link.
  • Alaqsa TVChan­nelYouTube chan­nel for Al Aqsa TV. Vis­i­tors are directed to this link from the Al Aqsa TV website.

Al Quds TV

Al Quds TV is a Hamas-run tele­vi­sion sta­tion that pro­motes ter­ror­ist activ­ity and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Face­book and YouTube.

  • Quds TVThe Face­book page for Al Quds TV. The Al Quds TV web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • Quds TVSatYouTube chan­nel for Al Quds TV. Vis­i­tors are directed to this link from the Al Quds TV website.

Alray Media Agency

The Alray Media Agency is a Hamas affil­i­ated media agency owned by the Gaza-based Infor­ma­tion Office of the Pales­tin­ian Gov­ern­ment. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Face­book, Twit­ter and YouTube as well as an appli­ca­tion avail­able on ITunes and Google Play.

  • Alray Media AgencyThe Face­book page for Alray Media Agency. The Alray Media web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • Alray Media AgencyThe Twit­ter han­dle­for Alray Media Agency. The Alray Media web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • AlraypsenThe YouTube chan­nel for Alray Media Agency. The Alray Media web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • AlRay Pales­tin­ian Media Agency – An appli­ca­tion for ITunes and Google Play devel­oped by the Hamas Min­istry of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy. The appli­ca­tion claims to be for “a Pales­tin­ian media agency speak­ing in the name of the Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment, it expresses the opin­ion of the glo­ri­ous Pales­tin­ian peo­ple, deals with their con­cerns and adopts their causes and posi­tions.” It is adver­tised on the Alray website.

Min­istry of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy (MTIT)

The MTIT is a Gaza-based Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment agency. Due to its loca­tion in Gaza, its pri­mary affil­i­a­tion is there­fore assumed to be to Hamas (despite the recent Pales­tin­ian unity pact).

  • Elec­tronic Infor­ma­tion –An appli­ca­tion from the Hamas Min­istry of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy (MTIT) that “allows gov­ern­ment employ­ees in Gaza to inquire about mail pay­ments, salaries and other ser­vices.” It is adver­tised on the MTIT website.
  • Dalely-Palestinian Orgs Guide –An appli­ca­tion from the Hamas MTIT that pro­vides a direc­tory to com­mu­ni­cate with var­i­ous gov­ern­men­tal and non-governmental orga­ni­za­tions in Gaza includ­ing Hamas gov­ern­ment apparatus.

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July 14, 2014 2

Disturbing Online Messages Say #HitlerWasRight

The pop­u­lar­ity of some dis­turb­ing Hitler-related hash­tags on Twit­ter has grown in reac­tion to “Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge,” Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas and other ter­ror­ist groups in Gaza.HitlerWasRight-hitler-gaza-israel-twitter-hashtag

Many of these responses have included the hash­tags #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong, such as:

  • “World needs another Hitler! #Hitler­Was­Right #SavePales­tine #SaveGaza”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right but he did one thing wrong he let other Jews to live, and they are mas­sacring #Pales­tini­ans today”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong we need a clone of #hitler for #jews #Israel @IsraeliPM”

This online out­pour­ing of anti-Semitism ini­tially appeared in the con­text of the recent series of Nazi and Holo­caust ref­er­ences that flooded social media after Germany’s 7–1 vic­tory over Brazil in the World Cup semi­fi­nals. Some of those wish­ing to protest Israel’s oper­a­tion in Gaza have pig­gy­backed on this phe­nom­e­non, ref­er­enc­ing both Germany’s World Cup vic­tory and Gaza in their #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong tweets:

  • “Ger­many won the World Cup– Israel has won mur­der, destruc­tion and dis­as­ter. #iSup­port­Gaza #Hitler­Was­Right? He did what Israel does now”
  • “I am sup­port­ing #Ger­many because #Hitler­Was­Right he killed jews with this rea­son #GAZA #Gaza­Un­der­At­tack #WorldCuptFinal2014Brazil”
  • “2014 FIFA World Cup CHAMPIONS! ***GERMANY*** #Pray­ForGaza #Hitler­Was­Right #Jew­sAre­Hu­manEn­emy #JewsAreRealTerrorist”

Invok­ing Hitler and Nazi Ger­many to demo­nize Israel is not lim­ited to social media. Bla­tantly offen­sive com­par­isons have appeared at a num­ber of anti-Israel protests in the U.S. Below are just a few examples:

  • At a protest orga­nized by the Mil­wau­kee Pales­tin­ian Sol­i­dar­ity Coali­tion, one young woman held a sign that read, “Don’t Do To Pales­tini­ans What Hitler Did To You.”
  • At a pro­test­ in Cleve­land, one sign depicted Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mus­tache and a Nazi flag jux­ta­posed with an Israeli flag.
  • At a rally in front of the Israeli Con­sulate in Chicago, among the many signs were sev­eral that accused Israel of per­pe­trat­ing a Holo­caust: “End the Pales­tine Holo­caust,” “It was Wrong in Auschwitz, it is Wrong in Gaza!” and “Gaza Concentration/Starvation Camp, Designed, Man­u­fac­tured, Fre­quently Bombed and Man­aged By Israel.”    

A recent ADL poll of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in 100 coun­tries found that knowl­edge about the Holo­caust varies widely depend­ing on the coun­try. In the sur­vey, 54 per­cent of those polled glob­ally responded affir­ma­tively when asked if they had heard about the Holo­caust in Europe dur­ing World War II. Another 35 per­cent of those polled indi­cated they had no knowl­edge of the Holo­caust, and 10 per­cent responded “don’t know.”

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July 11, 2014 0

ISIS Weighs In On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

isis-israel-gaza-terrorism

Al-Battar Media tweet threat­ens: “Patience, Jews, our appoint­ment is at al-Quds [Jerusalem] tomor­row, for the one who waits is close.”

As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, an Al Qaeda inspired ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion seek­ing to cre­ate an Islamic empire) gains con­fi­dence, ter­ri­tory and expands its exten­sive online pres­ence, the ter­ror­ist group (and its sup­port­ers) are increas­ingly mak­ing threats against Israel in response to the ongo­ing conflict.

One of ISIS’ sev­eral media wings, Al-Battar Media, tweeted a series of graph­ics threat­en­ing Israel. One graphic posted July 9 shows storm clouds over Jerusalem with a warn­ing: “Patience, Jews, our appoint­ment is at al-Quds [Jerusalem] tomor­row, for the one who waits is close.” Another image posted the same day shows the Dome of the Rock mosque super­im­posed in front of mil­i­tants and fea­tures the same language. 

ISIS’ Dawla Media Twit­ter feed, which reg­u­larly posts ISIS pro­pa­ganda mate­ri­als, tweeted a quoteon July 8 pur­port­edly from a Hamas spokesman say­ing, “All our mil­i­tary oper­a­tions till now are just [a] mes­sage for Israel.”

Dawla Media has also tweeted a state­menton July 9 indi­cat­ing that ISIS must fight the sur­round­ing Arab states before it can attack Israel “because they are the pro­tec­tive fence sup­port­ing the Jews.”

Other state­ments have been tweeted from a feed asso­ci­ated with the pro-ISIS extrem­ist forum “Al-Platform Media,” which has been tweet­ing state­ments by forum users. For exam­ple, one tweet from July linked to a con­ver­sa­tion on the forum pro­claim­ing, “Allah’s curse upon those of you who have made filth on the holy places. Zion­ist dogs…I would cru­cify you.”

ISIS’s online sup­port­ers are also tweet­ing their own threats. One sup­porter wrote that the kid­nap­pings and deaths of the three Israeli teenagers Naf­tali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach would be the first of many such attacks. And at least one sup­porter posted the anti-Semitic “Khay­bar” slo­gan evok­ing the story of slay­ing thou­sands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Ara­bia 1400 years ago. The slo­gan has been retweeted and favor­ited by many ISIS supporters.

isis-israel-jerusalem-twitter-adl

ISIS map that reads, “We fight in Lev­an­tine and our eyes are ded­i­cated towards beit al Maqdis [Jerusalem]”

ISIS pro­pa­ganda tar­get­ing Israel is not with­out prece­dent. Even before the cur­rent con­flict, maps dis­trib­uted online by ISIS demon­strat­ing its ter­ri­to­r­ial ambi­tions reg­u­larly included Israel as part of the Islamic State. A map released by ISIS in March claimed that the orga­ni­za­tion held ter­ri­tory 220km away from Israel and threat­ened rocket attacks, say­ing, “We fight in the Lev­an­tine and our eyes are toward Jerusalem.”

A video released by ISIS last month before the cur­rent con­flict included threats against Jews and Chris­tians to rally its mil­i­tants. The video includes explicit anti-Jewish state­ments, includ­ing “Wher­ever our war goes, Jew­ish rab­bis are humiliated.”

ISIS has a long his­tory of threat­en­ing Israel. As early as 2005, the organization’s pre­de­ces­sor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, claimed at least 2 rocket attacks against Israel. In 2008, the organization’s leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi issued an audio state­ment call­ing for attacks on Israel and propos­ing to use Iraq as a “launch­ing pad” for mis­sile attacks against Israel.

ISIS has become well known for its sophis­ti­cated use of social media, where it dis­sem­i­nates pro­pa­ganda, threat­ens west­ern nations and enables sup­port­ers to take part in that process.

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