If you’ve been keeping with the news then you’re already aware of the escalating conflict that is currently the Gaza Strip, a piece of the Mediterranean coastline roughly twice the size of D.C. Expectations here are that you should buckle down and prepare for more updates, because the violence between Israelis and the Palestinian group Hamas that currently occupies the strip is only expected to get worse.
Israel invaded the Gaza strip in 2008, and now the past few days have seen some of the most intense violence of the past four years. On November 14th, two days ago, an Israeli airstrike killed the commander of the Hamas military wing, resulting in the launching of hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel. On the 15th, Isreali planes struck down several Hamas militant sites, in part trying to disarm some of the rocket sites. Now this morning Israel troops are preparing for a ground assault into the strip.
There is currently a compilation webpage of Live Twitter Updates from the journalists and local citizens in Israel and nearby nations, composed by Robert Mackey, which is serving to update the rest of the world in real-time as events happen. This is in many ways the best way of keeping with the conflict, for the people living and stationed in the heart of the conflict will be those with the best coverage, and it is social websites like Twitter that have proven to be the quickest method of reaching a large, interested audience.
Most political scientists agree that it was the use of social media, picture and video cell phones, and sharing websites that made the Arab Spring so rapid and successful. The revolutions that took place, (and in some cases are still happening), all over North Africa and the Middle East differ from a majority of regional transitions to democracy, such as in Latin America or Southeast Asia, because of the existence and extensive use of social websites to publish live clips and events, express discontent, and organize. Now we have another large-scale conflict building in the Middle East, and the world can perhaps best witness the evolution of it through these real-time means.