The killing of the four children in Jabaliya on Saturday night could have been a strategic event that changed the face of the campaign. The difficult images of dead Palestinian children began to spread on social networks like wildfire, and the security establishment began to fear that the Israeli legitimacy for the continuation of the operation was in danger.
The killing of the four children in Jabaliya on Saturday night could have been a strategic event that changed the face of the campaign.
The difficult images of dead Palestinian children began to spread on social networks like wildfire, and the security establishment began to fear that the Israeli legitimacy for the continuation of the operation was in danger.
In the first minutes after the incident, it seemed that the train had left the station and the damage had already been done.
Even if Israel proves in plain sight that it is not responsible for killing the children, the truth will not change the established narrative.
However, unlike previous cases, this time the Israeli propaganda managed to get out of the situation.
About an hour after the incident, the IDF already began to hint that there is a more likely possibility that the children were not killed as a result of an Israeli bomb, but due to a failed launch of a rocket from the Gaza Strip. to the military correspondents.
The video that proves: the children in Jabaliya were hit by a failed Palestinian launch
The IDF presented very convincing arguments, claiming that at the time of the incident the Air Force was not operating in the Jabaliya area at all; that the last attack in the area was in broad daylight while the children were killed in the dark, and the Israeli radar systems also proved that it was a failed launch.
In a short time, the head of the national information system also published a message to the foreign media.
Respond in real time
Anyone familiar with the relative slowness of the IDF's investigative system cannot help but be impressed by the quick response to an incident with the potential for tremendous damage, which this time also managed to prove itself and change the narrative regarding the incident.
This is a dramatic change in the conduct of the military spokesmen since Operation "Guardian of the Walls", only a year and two months ago, in which, as we said, the Israeli propaganda did not really excel.
In that operation, there was no military official who stood in front of the cameras, to mediate the events to the public and explain the operations and its goals.
At the beginning of the previous operation, the IDF dealt with the media through only two-day updates. Each rocket received huge headlines, while an update on the IDF's activity in the Gaza Strip was given, as mentioned, only in the morning and in the evening.
The worst of all was a slow and cumbersome response to explosive events in real time, and the attack on the Al-Jalaa media building is particularly memorable, which changed the world public opinion towards the entire operation and undermined the legitimacy of its continuation.
Merkava tank in action during the "Dawn" operation, photo: IDF spokesperson
In the "Dawn" operation, at least so far, it seems that the information system has learned the lessons of "Guardian of the Walls" well.
Although the IDF spokesman still holds extensive bi-day updates, at the same time he updates the media - and through him the Israeli public - on the IDF's activities in the Gaza Strip in almost real time.
Brigadier General Kochav took on the role of the operation's spokesman, and he appears in front of the cameras again and again. Although he was caught in several lapses here, it can be assumed that they stem from overfatigue, and are dwarfed by the fact that the Israeli public has an address. To the army's credit, it is not only a spokesman The IDF itself poses in front of the cameras - the commander of the Gaza Division and the head of the Operations Division at the General Staff are also sent to explain to the public what is happening.
On the other hand, it is also important to remember that it is much easier and more convenient to plan a successful operation than to try to minimize the damage of unsuccessful military moves.
So far, the "Dawn" operation is fantastic from the point of view of the military: in only about 30 hours, the IDF and the Shin Bet managed to hit two of the senior leaders of the Islamic Jihad organization;
As of this time (tap tap) there are no casualties on the Israeli side;
Hamas remained out of the campaign, as did Judea and Samaria and the Israeli Arabs.
The Iron Dome battery during the "Dawn" operation, photo: IDF spokesman
Therefore, the propaganda and operational success should enter into proportion, since the "bitter enemy" that the IDF is dealing with is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Although an unruly, extremist and uninhibited organization, its capabilities do not come close to those of Hamas, and certainly not to those of Hezbollah in the north The real test will be in confrontations with more serious enemies.
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