Stabbings and gun attacks are happening in Jerusalem and some parts of Israel. The Israel government tightened its security. Their police clashed with Palestinian rioters causing several deaths on the side of Palestinian. But is the Israeli-Palestinian violence inspired by social media?
You can see the updates on Twitter and view some videos on Facebook pages about the bloodshed going on in Israel.
Within just two weeks, there were seven Israelis killed. There are also reports about 30 Palestinians who were killed in this attack.
If you go to the area where the attack is happening, you can now do more than just tell the people what happened.
With the tools of social media, you can film the attack and show it to your followers.
Israelis display those terrifying photos showing a man with a knife while running down the street.
Palestinians, on the other hand, share footage of police officers firing those volleys of bullets at an individual who may not be a threat.
Now, a lot of people are thinking if this violence is driven by social media.
But for experts, the attacks have nothing to do with it.
Even though there’s no clear evidence yet whether or not the attacks are organized, you can see that Palestinians are using social media to celebrate the violence and encourage them.
Launch an Uprising
After the first few attacks, the militant group known as Hamas published a video that encourages Arabs to kill Jews and launch a new uprising.
The video was a staged scene showing two Jews harassing Arab children while an Arab bystander stabs them.
You can no longer see the video on YouTube channel as the foreign ministry of Israel complained about it.
But other posts of encouraging and praising the attacks on Israelis are seen on YouTube and Facebook.
And on twitter, you’ll find hashtags of Jerusalem Intifada and Intifada of the Knives. These two topics are trending on Palestinian social media.
Now, Israeli officials are expressing their fear that this trend on social media may fuel anger while it may inspire further attacks to their citizens.
Experts are also noticing a significant increase in anti-Arab rhetoric on social media sites of Israelis.
The stabbing attacks are random and opportunistic.
They’re also praised by some militant groups.
But Palestinians aren’t interested in causing further attacks or escalating the situation.
However, there’s still a danger that the violence could gain force and militant groups may orchestrate more attacks.
In Jerusalem, residents are using their smartphones not just to know more about the latest news in their country but they’re also using them to confirm the prejudices they’re experiencing and heighten fears of others.
Even though the violence is now fading, those images that people see on their smartphone screens could still cause another attack as they’re giving it a life.
So, what’s the role of social media in these attacks?
Perhaps, it may have actually fueled anger on both sides.
Or perhaps not.
But we can’t deny the fact that social media can influence what people think.