The State of Israel’s official Twitter account just tweeted a series of rocket emojis, allegedly symbolising each rocket shot by Hamas toward Israel.
In what may be the most callous social media move this year, Israel sent 12 tweets with 3,168 rocket emojis in total.
Israel’s account then replied to its own Twitter storm, claiming that the decision was made to give “perspective”.
“Just to give you all some perspective, these are the total amount of rockets shot at Israeli civilians. Each one of these rockets is meant to kill,” Israel replied to their multiple rocket-emoji tweets.
“Make no mistake. Every rocket has an address. What would you do if that address was yours?” the final tweet (so far) in the thread read.
— Israel ישראל (@Israel) May 17, 2021
The tweets reference the Hamas Palestinian militant group’s airstrike from Gaza on Monday, which sent Israelis fleeing into bomb shelters in Ashkelon, Beer Sheva and Ashdod.
One residential building in Ashdod was hit, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said, while also claiming that Hamas rocket installations and tunnel entrances had been placed close to civilian infrastructure.
“Hamas deliberately and systematically places military targets within the civilian population, exposing their citizens to danger,” the IDF said.
The tweets come after a week-long escalation that began on May 10 between Israel and the Hamas militant group that controls Gaza, in what has become the most severe Israeli-Palestine conflict in years.
Roughly 3,150 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel since last Monday. However, the Israeli military said many had either fallen short or were intercepted by Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ aerial defence system.
Yesterday (Sunday) marked the deadliest day of the confrontation, when Israeli forces unleashed a wave of heavy airstrikes ‘in return’ on the Gaza Strip, destroying 15 kilometres of militant tunnels to target the homes of nine Hamas commanders.
The attack resulted in the deaths of over 50 Palestinians, 10 of which were children, while 50 more people were injured, according to Al Jazeera.
A five-storey building housing the Hamas-run Religious Affairs Ministry was levelled to the ground.
Furthermore, a multi-storey building that housed Al Jazeera Media Network employees, The Associated Press, and civilians was also destroyed over the weekend.
At least 212 Palestinians have been killed during the beginning of the escalation, including 39 women and 61 children. Furthermore, 1400 people have been left wounded, while the Israeli bombings have displaced another 40,000 people in Gaza in the last week.
Meanwhile, 10 Israelis have been killed, including two children, during ongoing rocket attacks launched from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel.
Due to the ongoing bloodshed on both sides, it’s no wonder that the decision to tweet rocket emojis from Israel’s official Twitter account was not seen as tone-deaf, but point-blank apathetic.
“I did one with the number of kids you’ve killed,” one Twitter user replied.
pretty fucking weird, guys
— Rob (@robrousseau) May 17, 2021
It is apparent that your iron hearts in defence are more effective than the Iron Dome. pic.twitter.com/I7ihVoKUiV
— Bahadır Sancak (@bahadirsancak) May 17, 2021
The initial war broke out when Hamas fired long-range rockets at Jerusalem, following weeks of clashes in the holy city between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police.
Israel had cancelled Palestinian elections, Palestinian families in East Jerusalem were forcefully evicted from their homes, and Muslim holy sites, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque, were raided by Israelis.
Since the escalation began, mob violence has broken out in multiple cities in Israel between Jewish and Arab citizens.
The United Nations has since called for an end to the fighting, and the Security Council met over the weekend to deliberate over the continued escalation.
“This latest round of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said at the opening of the meeting.
“The fighting must stop, it must stop immediately.”