In what is thought to be a world first, Israel announced its military campaign against Gaza on Twitter on Tuesday before making it official at a formal press conference, and it continues to live-tweet the campaign.
"The IDF has begun a widespread campaign on terror sites & operatives in the #Gaza Strip, chief among them #Hamas & Islamic Jihad targets," the verified account @IDFSpokesperson, on behalf of the Israel Defense Forces, tweeted Wednesday, adding a short time later, "The first target, hit minutes ago, was Ahmed Al-Jabari, head of the #Hamas military wing."
The announcement was reportedly the first confirmation to media that a military campaign had begun.
Dubbing it Operation Pillar of Defense, the spokesperson stated the goal of the operation were to protect Israeli civilians and "to cripple the terrorist infrastructure in the #Gaza Strip."
What follows is a stream of tweets with updates on the IDF's action and the attacks coming from Gaza, as well as facts about the conflict, which goes back months but began escalating last weekend.
A video purporting to show an IDF "pinpoint strike" on Al-Jabari was removed by YouTube because it violated the site's terms of service, but the spokesperson later posted a picture of the man and tweeted "Ahmed Jabari: Eliminated."
An account claiming to belong to Hamas, @AlqassamBrigade, confirmed the death and continues to post its own updates.
After the strike on Jabari, the IDF posted a warning: "We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead."
On Thursday, the spokesperson tweeted, "This is 2nd day of #PillarOfDefense." and posted links to more video of attacks by both sides.