Report: Israel learned lesson from Lebanon conflict, seeks to stay ahead in 'media war' through Internet
It's been said that war never changes. But, it does frequently pick up new toys.
As Israel continues to pummel Palestine during the fourth day of violence in the region, the Israeli Defense Force opened a new theater of war over the Internet.
The spokesman's office of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it created the channel -- youtube.com/user/idfnadesk -- on Monday to "help us bring our message to the world."
The channel currently has more than 2,600 subscribers and hosts 10 videos, some of which have been viewed more than 26,000 times.
"The blogosphere and new media are another war zone," Israel Foreign Press Branch head Maj. Avital Leibovich told the Jerusalem Post. "We have to be relevant there."
The IDF's YouTube channel features clips of military preparations for attacks on Gaza, and low-quality, high-altitude, black and white footage of directed missile strikes against what Israel says are Hamas installations.
None of the videos include footage of civilian casualties.
Likewise, the Israeli consulate in New York has launched a Twitter page -- twitter.com/IsraelConsulate -- geared toward taking questions about the conflict from citizens.
World leaders have expressed serious concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, a tiny, aid-dependent territory of 1.5 million which Israel has virtually sealed off since Hamas seized power in June last year.
Israel opened one of its crossings into Gaza for a third consecutive day on Tuesday, the defense ministry said, adding that a total of 179 truckloads of humanitarian supplies and 10 ambulances were allowed into the Palestinian enclave since the military operation started.
Israel sees the Internet offensive as a way to keep open its window of opportunity to press forward with its thus-far devastating attacks in Gaza.
"I don't know how long [the fighting] will last, but at this moment Israel has no small measure of understanding and support, and even approval, from many countries," former Israeli UN ambassador Dan Gillerman said in a published report. "We haven't seen dramatic condemnations [from world leaders], only the expected and generic calls for calm and cease-fire."
Since the massive aerial attack was unleashed on Saturday, at least 373 Palestinians, including 39 children, have been killed and 1,720 wounded, according to Gaza medics.
Palestinian militants have also fired more than 250 rockets and mortar shells, killing four people inside Israel and wounding around two dozen more.
The following video was posted to the IDF's YouTube channel on Dec. 30.