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Constructing the Myth of Victory: Hamas Manipulations, Propaganda and Psychological Warfare

Hamas, inspired by Hezbollah, is waging a propaganda and psychological warfare campaign against Israel . Its objective is to represent itself as successfully fighting Israel to prepare the ground for a myth of victory when the time is ripe :

  • Hamas strictly forbids the publication of the names of its terrorist operatives who were killed during the fighting , especially since the ground operation began. A warning against divulging information and pictures of the dead and wounded of Hamas and the other organizations was posted on Hamas's main surfer forum. 1

Forbidden pictures...

 

  
 

Pictures from the beginning of Operation Cast Lead whose publication is currently forbidden by Hamas.

Left: Yussuf Judaism Ziyab, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative killed by the IDF.

The picture shows him shouldering an Al-Yassin rocket launcher

(Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades forum website, January 1, 2009).

Right: Alaa Ibrahim at Qatarawi, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative killed during Operation Cast Lead

(Hamas's PALDF Forum, December 30, 2008).

 

  • Hamas boasts of its ability to extend the range of its rockets to Tel Aviv . Al-Aqsa TV showed a video with the names of Israeli cities, towns and villages which had been hit by rocket fire, hinting that the next target would be Tel Aviv . The name Tel Aviv appeared next to a large rifle sight with the subtitle, "All our options are open" (Al-Aqsa TV, January 10, 2009 ).
 
 From an Al-Aqsa TV video: Hamas threatens Tel Aviv
(Al-Aqsa TV, January 10, 2009).

 

  • Hamas claims responsibility for attacks it did not carry out . For example, a rocket attack on the Israeli Air Force bases in southern Israel which are 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Gaza Strip; blowing up a house in Beit Hanoun with eight IDF soldiers inside; and hitting an IDF aircraft over the northern Gaza Strip. Such lies reflect aspirations which Hamas's military-terrorist wing has so far not achieved.

 

  • Hamas spokesman Musheir al-Masri also said that "everything is under control." The Hamas movement and the Hamas administration, he claimed, were successfully directing the Gaza Strip, and that "matters are stable and the situation is as it should be." [ Note : In reality, the Hamas administration is in hiding and barely functions.] He also boasted that the Hamas leadership on the ground was currently formulating its " announcement of a coming victory over the aggression ," and that Israel had failed to achieve its objectives, whether they were to topple Hamas or stop the rocket fire ( Iran 's Fars News Agency, January 11, 2009 ).

Hamas Media Functioning

  • Hamas's network of websites continue showing signs of recovery. After having launched Paltube , it launched additional sites: a news site to complement Hamas's PALDF Forum, for news of the events in the Gaza Strip, and a new version of its site for the Islamic Block, its student wing. On the other hand, the Hamas newspaper Felesteen still experiences difficulties in functioning.

Iranian Media Manipulation

  • The Iranian media follow and report on the events in the Gaza Strip. However, their reports are biased and manipulative . For example, Iran 's Fars News Agency, which is widely quoted outside Iran , reported that the Israeli forces had directly targeted a residential building in Gaza City . It again reported Hamas rocket fire at the "Zionist settlements," using the same picture, which was taken in the city of Sderot from two different angles, representing one as an "IDF attack," and the other as a Hamas attack.
  

Left: The subtitle reads "Hamas fire hits one of the Zionist settlements."
Right: The subtitle reads "IDF fires at houses in the Gaza Strip" (Iran's Fars News Agency).

 

 
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