With Isil stories dominating the national news, it seems like it’s been a while since stories on the conflict in Gaza have made headlines. It is in moments such as this, when it’s easy to forget or skip the on-going events that are continuing to tear apart the lives of millions of civilians living in the heart of the war.
National news corporations may have pushed Gaza aside for now, but meanwhile social media is bursting with disseminate information, updates, and posts live from Gaza. Journalists and residents within the unstable city are actively taking to Twitter and Facebook to share photos of the destruction in the Gaza Strip. Even without electricity, citizen journalists have managed to capture striking images, from damaged neighbourhoods to bodies of the deceased.
The power of ‘user generated content’ has never been so powerful – but the posting of such content also carries dangerous consequences. According to Reuters journalist Yousef al-Helou, of the 2016 Palestinians killed in the current Israeli assault, 14 were journalists, including a foreign reporter who worked for local and international media outlets. This mode of online journalism uses the digital medium of Twitter as an accessible platform to reach out to the public, so that they can modify, commentate on and distribute content quickly.
Twitter houses thousands of opinions on the conflict, regular people use the relevant hashtags to initiate debates, have conversations and to share their point of views. Such hashtags include #PrayforGaza and #GazaUnderAttack.
Whether they’re tweeting as: journalists on the ground, an activist or humanitarian aid worker amongst the conflict, or a Palestinian eyewitness, here are a few members of the public who I believe you ought to follow on Twitter if you’re interested in uncovering the latest behind the Gaza-Israel conflict:
An American contributor to the Middle East Eye and the Electronic Intifada, Catron’s diaries and blog entries make a fascinating read, and provide a cultured insight in the struggle on the Gaza Strip.
Writer, filmmaker and journalist. Often contributing content to international news organisations. Check out his site here.
Senior writer and author.
By far an inspiration, when 16 year old Farah started tweeting about bombs falling around her, little could she have known the magnanimity of her words. She’s since risen to become a prominent Twitter figure with those following the Gaza conflict. In a matter of weeks her followers on Twitter jumped from 800 to 207,000 with people hungry for a first-hand, personal account of what was transpiring in Gaza.
One of my favourite investigative journalists, Julia is so widely acclaimed that student journalists talk about her like she’s Oprah. Specialising in Foreign Affairs, Julia is currently based in Lebanon and Gaza.