Sent through the various messaging apps and social media, Hamas used fabricated reports as part of its psychological warfare during the past 48 hours.
By Baruch Yedid, TPS
“We hit an Israeli jeep with a rocket,” “we bombed Jerusalem,” “five Israelis killed in a rocket attack” – these are a few of the “news” items the Hamas terror organization disseminated via messaging apps and social media since the Islamic Jihad launched an attack on Israel on Tuesday morning.
Hamas’ use of fake news is double-pronged – on the one hand, it’s intended to unnerve the Israeli public, and on the other hand, it convinces Gazans into believing Hamas is active in the war on Israel.
The terror organization published “news” that operations at the Ben-Gurion Airport have come to a standstill after rockets fell in the area, and that the IDF has initiated a mass call-up of reserves, a “development” that proved Israel’s fear of the Gazan terrorist organizations and the heavy price the IDF was about to pay.
In some cases, Hamas amplified news items published in the Israeli media. For instance, the Israeli media reported that there was a limited call up of a few hundred reservists. Hamas turned it into a mass mobilization. In another instance, Hamas took the news about an Israeli shutdown of schools in the Tel Aviv area and described it as complete paralysis of the entire country.
The fake news is sent with doctored or reused photos to prove their truth. Hamas is known to use photos shot during the civil war in Syria and present them as events in Gaza.
To demonstrate a supposed attack on an Israeli jeep on Wednesday morning, Hamas used a photo that showed an IDF jeep with a white cloud around it that looked like smoke, when in fact it was dust.
A Gaza-based reporter told TPS that the terror organizations want to promote the “image of victory ” so that they can end their attacks on Israel.
Hamas is recent hours has been facing heavy pressure to join the Islamic Jihad in its attack on the Jewish state and has been accused of collaborating with Israel and abandoning Islamic Jihad. Hamas, through its various Telegram and Whatsapp channels, has stepped up its dissemination of fake news and has claimed that Israel is “taking heavy losses” and that the number of Israeli dead is constantly climbing.
The Gaza-based report explained that this is one of Hamas’ methods of warding off criticism.
“Hamas is demonstrating activity without taking action,” the reporter said.
The Islamic Jihad has likewise been spreading fake news and reported that Hamas has joined it launching rockets at Israel and that their attacks are coordinated.
A source in Gaza estimates that Hamas is operating several such disguised fake news outlets and to present the appearance that they are operated by entities other other than Hamas.
“While Hamsa is trying to create a sense of cooperation in Gaza, the Islamic Jihad is countering this effort and embarrassing Hamas,” the report concluded.