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Follow a 'live war' on Twitter which is now an 'instrument of WAR'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 16th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

If you like war, then you're going to love Twitter. Israel and Hamas have engaged in a conflict in cyberspace that in some ways parallels the actual conflict going on outside. Both the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and Hamas are live tweeting the war, as it happens.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (Catholic Online) - Since Wednesday, the public has been following the conflict between the two sides, as it unfolds, in real time. Beginning with the killing of Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas military commander, the IDF sent out his picture, tinted red and stamped with the word "eliminated."

This may be the first time in recorded history that a full-scale military conflict has been tweeted in real time. Now interested bystanders can literally get live updates about the war during their morning commute, throughout their workday, and even as they use the restroom.

Each side something happens, a tweet is posted. For example:

Alqassam Brigades @AlqassamBrigade #Israel's military still targeting civilians in #Gaza kills a child and fourty others #hamas #GazaUnderAttack #Egypt

And this from the IDF:

IDF @IDFSpokesperson We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.

Twitter has already seen use over the past few years as a tool for activism. Arab Spring demonstrations were routinely organized via Twitter. Among the factors which makes this unique however, is the IDF's use of the application to tell its side of the story.

People on the ground are also posting their experience of the conflict. These tweets often link to images which show the bodies of those killed or wounded by the ongoing strikes. Such images have had a chilling effect on those who might otherwise support military conflict.

The graphic images are a reminder for those amused by the tweets that the war in Gaza isn't just a war of words - it is a real war, with real human consequences. And therein may lie the true value of Twitter as it bring reality home to all and pushes rational people towards peace.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)