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Gaza Battle Prompts Controversial London Bombing Tweet From Israel

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In its fight for the hearts, minds and the backing of Westerners during its assault on Gaza, Israel has turned its social media guns on Westminster, mocking up a stark image to try and put outsiders in their shoes.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are fighting their biggest offensive in the enclave for five years and more than 500 people have died in two weeks in the bombardment and ground invasion.

The attack is meant to stomp out Hamas militants' rocket attacks against Israel being launched from Gaza.

But the information war currently being fought on social media has been a crucial part of the battle, with images and details of destruction flying across Twitter and Facebook, to be discredited or confirmed by more informed sources, although usually after they have already been shared hundreds of times.

Recent images of the carnage on the ground - particularly the shelling of Gaza's Shejaiya district yesterday - have dominated western media and done little to win Israel much support.

At the weekend, up to 15,000 people are thought to have marched through London from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington to protest its actions.

The IDF is fighting back - @IDFspokesperson has tweeted this image that asks Londoners a stark question.

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With rockets raining down on the Houses of Parliament, the tweet asked: "Hamas terrorists just fired rockets at southern and central Israel. What if they were attacking your home?

Rest assured, the image is not real - like many other images that have been circulated on social media since the bombardment of Gaza began.

GAZA: BBC Dragged Into Israel Information War Over Mythbusting #GazaUnderAttack Video

The IDF tweet received over 450 retweets but many were not convinced by its message.

One person was quick to point out the image was not real, using their general knowledge to figure out that the Palace of Westminster has never been hit by a barrage of rockets.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Palestinians used "telegenically dead" people to win people to their side.

"They (Hamas) want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can," he told CNN. "They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better."

The latest figures put the Palestinian death toll at 507, with more than 3,000 wounded.

Israel has had 18 soldiers killed, 13 of them yesterday, as well as two civilians.

The offensive has sought to destroy tunnels that Israel says Hamas militants use to travel to fire rockets from.

Despite international calls for a ceasefire, Israel's offensive has continued.

"This is not the time to talk of a ceasefire," Gilad Erdan, communications minister and a member of Netanyahu's inner security cabinet, told Reuters.

"We must complete the mission, and the mission cannot end until the threat of the tunnels is removed."

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