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Gaza and the tactical military use of social media

Israeli soldiers lie on the ground as an Iron Dome missile is launched near the city of Ashdod, Israel, Monday Nov 19. 2012.

Israeli soldiers lie on the ground as an Iron Dome missile is launched near the city of Ashdod, Israel, Monday Nov 19. 2012. // Moti Milrod/AP

Over the past week, we've been tracking closely how Israel and Hamas are bringing the conduct of war into the Internet age. The latest example comes from this advisory, whipped up by an apparent civilian named Evyatar Tabib. The image urges Israelis not to tweet about the location of Gazan rocket landings for fear of giving Hamas information it can use to adjust its aim.

The concern isn't unreasonable. While Israeli officials exercise firm control over what defense-related information makes it onto the airwaves via television and radio, there are no such restrictions on Internet content, according to Dr. Ilai Saltzman, the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and an adjunct professor of international relations at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

With social media, Saltzman wrote in an email, "Ordinary people become self-made reporters and publicize their personal experiences [...] Like in the case of Lebanon in 2006, they help Hamas and Islamic Jihad to re-calibrate their missiles, rockets and mortars."

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