IDF Twitter feed breaks 179 day silence

August 18, 2009

Rather intriguingly the Twitter feed for the Israeli Defence Force, @IDFSpokesperson, has offered the world a tweet for the first time in 179 days. Clearly IDF Spokesperson was getting back into the swing of things because the first one was quickly followed by a second at around 6pm Israeli time: 

"IDFSpokesperson 106 aid trucks and 440,000 L of fuel sched. to cross into Gaza via kerem shalom & nahal oz today. Erez crossing is open. #israel #gaza #idf"

"IDFSpokesperson 2 israelis lightly wounded driving near ma’ale shomron when palestinians hurled rocks at their car. #IDF forces searching area. #westbank"

The IDF started this Twitter feed several days after the first airstrikes against Gaza in December 2008 and stopped posting information after the subsequent incursion into Gaza in February 2009. This was part of a social media campaign that I wasn’t too impressed with, not least because they never did get back to me.  

The re-emergence of the IDF Spokesperson Twitter feed leaves me wondering what the IDF is up to, because so far the Twitter feed only seems to be used when the IDF is involved in a significant operation.

I’m not as close an observer of Israeli politics as I’d like to be – please feel free to help me out – but I did note the other day that the Israeli Air Force have been bombing smuggling tunnels along the Egyptian border in response to mortar attacks.

Of course, it’s always possible that the IDF’s media people had forgotten about Twitter and have started using it again. Or maybe they’re taking my advice about building trust in a social media presence before you use it in a crisis situation. OK, that last sentence was ridiculous, I know.

But whatever is going on here, it’ll be interesting to see what else appears in this space in the near future. 



Topics: