Parallel to the fight against Hamas, Israel is fighting another battle. The purpose is to convince the world, especially the United States, that this is a just war.
Israel’s public relations machine has been working into overdrive in recent weeks to make its case. Gaza blow It is necessary and has been implemented to minimize civilian deaths. It allowed journalists. Including those from NBC News.stationed in Gaza with soldiers, maintained a steady drumbeat of social media posts and made television appearances available to Israeli representatives.
But in doing so, it cited several inaccuracies, including claiming that an Arabic calendar was the Hamas kidnapper’s shift schedule and using curtains as evidence that the hostage video was shot at a hospital. published controversial or controversial information.
According to some experts, this widespread reaction to call for dubious evidence is undermining Israel’s credibility, and unless concrete evidence is found that Hamas’s headquarters were underground, There is a possibility of getting into a situation. Al Shifa Hospital in Gazaone of Israel’s key talking points at this stage of the war.
“The irony is that they might find something, but no one will believe it,” said H.A. Hellyer, a senior associate fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank in Washington, D.C. “Their credibility is in jeopardy at this point.”
This is not an even information war between Israel and Hamas. Hamas carried out the Oct. 7 attack that killed about 1,200 people and is a terrorist organization banned in the United States and Europe.
Among numerous false claims, Hamas claimed without evidence that Israel bombed Al-Ahly Hospital on October 17, killing 500 people. Israel denied this and instead supported this conclusion, saying that an errant rocket fire by Palestinian militants caused the explosion. Evidence analyzed by NBC News.
and in between Part of Hamas propaganda I was able to avoid it Western efforts to limit its scopeMr Hellyer, who has held senior counter-radicalization positions in the UK government, said the information war should not be seen as a war between two equal parties.
“We don’t take seriously what terrorist groups say, but we do take seriously what the military says, especially our allies.” “So we naturally hold ourselves to higher standards.”
Israel knows that international discussions are important. The White House supports Israel’s stated goal of destroying Hamas in response to the Oct. 7 attack on Hamas that killed about 1,200 people. Biden administration officials privately voice concerns Palestinian health officials say the IDF is not doing enough to prevent civilian deaths. According to the Palestinian Health Authority, more than 12,000 civilians have been killed, more than half of them women and children.
The pressure isn’t just coming from the United States. This week, the 15-nation United Nations Security Council voted to suspend fighting. And streets around the world are filled with hundreds of thousands of protesters calling for a ceasefire.
Polling suggestions Much of the outpouring of goodwill Israel received after the October 7 attack has now withered in the face of images showing mass casualties and destruction in Gaza.
Nimrod Goren, a Jerusalem-based senior fellow on Israel issues at the Middle East Institute, the oldest Washington-based think tank focused on the region, says these changes cannot be overlooked.
“It means that Israel continues to provide support and takes into account the concerns of the United States and other Western countries as it conducts military operations to ensure that criticism does not exceed certain thresholds,” Goren said.
If you mistake a calendar for a curtain, you will be laughed at.
Much of Israel’s public relations efforts have focused on hospitals, where IDF attacks have led to a sharp rise in Palestinian deaths. Israel claims Hamas uses the facilities as military bases and is legitimate targets. Hamas denies these claims.
The Israeli military said it had discovered a tunnel shaft, weapons-laden vehicles and other caches of guns and ammunition in al-Shifa. Nearby, Israel said its soldiers had found the bodies of civilian hostage Yehudit Weiss and 19-year-old soldier Noah Marciano, who were taken by Hamas on October 7.
But the effort to prove a point sometimes hurts Israel’s cause.
Most notably, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagali presented what he said was evidence that al-Rantisi hospital was used by Hamas to hold hostages. He pointed to a piece of paper and said it showed a list for guarding prisoners. “Each terrorist has their own shift,” he said.
Above the document was written in pen the words “Al-Aqsa Flood”. This is the name of Hamas’ October 7 attack. But Arabic speakers pointed out that the rest of the paper only shows the days of the week and there is no trace of the names of the Hamas prisoners Hagari described.
He noted that elsewhere in the hospital, curtains were hung on windowless walls. “There’s no reason to do this unless you’re filming hostages or distributing a movie,” Hagari said.
Some people in the area noted that this is a common interior theme in Palestinian homes.
In response, the IDF told NBC News it “immediately corrected” Hagari’s calendar comments and said “any suggestion that the IDF is manipulating the media is false.”
“We are taking all necessary precautions to report as much information as possible while maintaining the security of our forces and operational readiness,” the country said in a statement.
Nevertheless, ridicule soon followed. Increasingly, videos on social media feature ridiculously common objects as “evidence of the IDF.”
Israel has been accused of spreading misinformation before. Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arab media spokesperson Ofir Gendelman posted a video to X that he claimed showed Gazans covering up injuries with makeup. As of Friday, the footage had not been removed, despite numerous people correcting it to say it was actually from a Lebanese film.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, attacks on hospitals are war crimes unless they are used in operations by military or extremist groups. Even then, doctors and patients should be warned and take great care to avoid harming residents.
Israel says it has warned doctors and patients at a hospital it says is used by Hamas. But many doctors say they can’t transport critically ill patients and don’t want to leave them behind. Doctors in al-Shifa strongly deny that al-Shifa is used as a base for militants.