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Israeli Propaganda Tactics During the War on Gaza: Unveiling Deceptive Narratives

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
26th December 2023
Israeli Propaganda Tactics During the War on Gaza: Unveiling Deceptive Narratives
Israel is endeavoring to gain world public opinion (Getty)

Since the start of the recent Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip on October 7, initiated following the launch of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood by the Palestinian resistance, Israel has employed various tactics and patterns to craft a misleading media narrative. It disseminated distorted accounts through different mediums, presenting specific narratives to millions on social media platforms. The primary aim has been to divert attention from its oppressive occupation and spread sweeping lies, portraying itself as a democratic state while justifying its operations as defensive responses.

Here are some of the propaganda tactics utilized by Israel in the recent war, attempting to distract and deceive many, leading them to believe and support the narrative that absolves Israel of its crimes against humanity.

Misleading Claims About Hamas Assaults on Children To Gain Sympathy

In an effort to gain world public opinion and sympathy, Israeli media outlets at the onset of the war initially circulated allegations that members of the Hamas movement had beheaded Israeli children and sexually assaulted women after the attack the movement's attack on the Gaza envelope during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. Several Western media outlets published the story but later retracted it due to a lack of corroborating evidence.

Misbar published a report refuting these claims,. Subsequently, Israeli investigations asserted a lack of evidence to confirm these allegations.

Nevertheless, Israeli propaganda continued to spread misleading narratives about children, releasing a video claiming to show five Israeli children held hostage by Hamas in chicken coops after their capture. Upon investigation, Misbar confirmed that the footage did not involve Israeli children held by Hamas; it was published prior to the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

i24 News Channel Misleads Media and Alleges Killing of 40 Israeli Babies in Settlement Devastation

Comparing Hamas to ISIS To Gain International Support

Following Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, the Israeli government, the U.S. administration, and various Israeli and Western media outlets consistently drew parallels between the Hamas movement and ISIS.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted in a televised speech following the operation that "Hamas is ISIS, and just as ISIS was crushed, so too will Hamas be crushed." Israel began promoting the idea globally that Hamas is akin to ISIS organization, implying similarities in their actions. This served as another tactic for Israel to gain international sympathy and legitimacy for its war against the people of Gaza, under the pretext of combating "Hamas terrorism," echoing the U.S. strategy during its war against ISIS.

Israel disregarded the fact that Hamas is a resistance movement that emerged from the Palestinian people's struggle to defend their occupied land. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that Hamas employs strategies similar to those of ISIS. Throughout its history, Hamas has not disseminated staged scenes of dead bodies, their burning, or the slaughter of civilians, as ISIS did. Most of Israel's allegations originate from misleading images and scenes unrelated to actual Hamas operations.

Campaign To Cast Doubt on Palestinian Injuries and Death Scenes

Since the recent onset of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, numerous pro-Israeli accounts have been sharing videos using the hashtag "Pallywood." These videos claim that Gazan residents fabricate scenes of their own deaths and injuries. These accounts argue that the portrayed tales of suffering are either staged or part of propaganda efforts, aiming to divert attention from the actual crimes of the occupation, which include the deaths of thousands of civilians, predominantly women and children.

These allegations were often accompanied by old or manipulated theatrical scenes, some detached from their original context. Misbar has taken the initiative to investigate and debunk many of these claims.

"Pallywood" is a term formed by merging "Palestine" and "Hollywood." Users of this term claim that Palestinians stage their injuries and suffering, exaggerating the number of casualties and victims. The use of the "Pallywood" hashtag by accounts affiliated with Israel to cast doubt on the plight of Palestinians is not a new tactic; it has circulated for years as a strategy to justify Israeli actions and crimes.

Arabic-Named Accounts Are Promoting Israeli Propaganda

In an attempt to showcase extensive Arab solidarity with Israel, Misbar has noted many social media accounts with Arabic names on the X platform that spreading misleading allegations that align with Israeli narratives in Arabic. One such account is known as 'Huda Jannat.' Upon examining its content and the list of accounts it follows, Misbar uncovered a group of unidentified accounts actively engaged in disseminating misinformation, promoting Israeli narratives, and inciting against resistance factions.

Furthermore, Misbar identified several other Arabic accounts that accused Palestinians in Gaza of orchestrating protests and distorting facts to cast doubts about the existence of civilian casualties resulting from Israeli airstrikes. These accounts disseminated numerous misleading claims regarding the ongoing Israeli war in the Gaza Strip. Notably, there was evidence of Israeli support and interaction with these accounts, as some prominent Israeli figures consistently engaged and interacted with them.

Arabic-Named Accounts Are Promoting Israeli Propaganda During the Gaza War

False Allegations About the Surrender of Resistance Members

During its ground operations in Gaza, Israeli accounts spread false claims of victories. They posted videos and scenes alleging to depict Hamas fighters surrendering themselves and their weapons to the Israeli army forces in the Strip.

Misbar investigated these allegations and found them to be misleading. The individuals shown in the footage were Palestinian civilians who were in Gaza during the Israeli ground incursion, not members of Hamas surrendering themselves. Misbar also revealed that some of these scenes were filmed after Israeli forces compelled civilians to undress and recorded them in that vulnerable state.

This occurred alongside the ongoing resistance efforts against Israeli forces in Gaza. The resistance declared the destruction of hundreds of tanks and the killing of many occupation soldiers.

False Allegations About the Surrender of Resistance Members

Utilizing AI Images for Israeli Propaganda

Israeli propaganda extends beyond the distribution of edited and old videos and the manipulation of narrative origins. It also focuses on creating visually appealing content using generative artificial intelligence tools.

Previously, an image was shared purporting to show weapons inside a tunnel in Gaza beneath a WHO hospital. Another image allegedly depicted the Israeli incursion into the streets of Gaza, showcasing tanks adorned with the Israeli flag. Additionally, an image portrayed Israeli soldiers in Gaza celebrating in front of a Hanukkah menorah, a symbol of the Jewish Festival of Lights, and a Star of David engraved on a stacked pile of stones in front of the building.

Gaza Weapons Tunnel

These tactics, along with other strategies employed by Israeli propaganda, portray Palestinian civilians as a threat, fostering an environment where acts of violence against them are deemed acceptable or even necessary.

Many of these allegations seek to rationalize crimes against humanity by framing heinous acts under an unlawful occupation as 'self-defense,' thereby dehumanizing Palestinians in the process.

Israeli propaganda evokes nationalist sentiments and leverages appeals to patriotism to garner support for military operations. Messages from the occupying forces emphasize the defense of the Jewish homeland and the protection of Jewish Israeli citizens, resonating deeply with those who embrace Zionist propaganda.

The impact of these allegations on readers, especially those who are not fully aware of the precise historical and current context, can be significant in shaping their perceptions of the Palestinian cause.

Through crafting a narrative that disregards the nuanced differences in Palestinian struggles, the Israeli occupying forces succeed in silencing and desensitizing the uninformed to the plight of the Palestinians. This fosters a culture where violence is normalized and empathy is eroded. Misbar has played a crucial role in debunking hundreds of Israeli claims during the ongoing war, publishing investigations and reports to counter misinformation.

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