If the flurry of activity on Twitter and Instagram is anything to go by, a new front has opened up in the re-heating conflict between Israel and Hamas. Just as unpredictable -- though not as bloody -- as its conventional war counterpart, social media is playing an increasingly important role in the Middle East's most enduring public relations war.
Only minutes after assassinating the leader of Hamas' military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, the official Twitter account for the Israeli Defence Forces @idfspokesperson declared
: "The IDF has begun a widespread campaign on terror sites & operatives in the #Gaza Strip, chief among them #Hamas & Islamic Jihad targets."
The IDF has followed up with tweets announcing that "All options are on the table" and that they would be "ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza" if necessary. Originating in the IDF's two month-old "Interactive Media" branch, the Israelis' tweets have been making liberal use of the #IsraelUnderFire hashtag and slick, shareable graphics and photos: