Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has launched a social media campaign to defend itself against charges of terrorism.
The week-long push officially begins on Friday via the twitter account @HamasInfoEn and is being touted as “truth from the mouth of the horse”.
The hashtag #AskHamas is being used to encourage the public to communicate with the group.
Five-day social media campaign, Hamas speaks. pic.twitter.com/a60ocNW7ux— Hamas Movement (@HamasInfoEn) March 12, 2015
“The campaign is aimed at rejecting the labeling of the Palestinian resistance as ‘terrorists’,” Hamas’s media coordinator Taher al-Nounou told Andalou Agency.
He added the campaign will primarily target Western audiences, with the aim of encouraging the EU to remove Hamas from its list of terrorist organisations.
Hamas is currently classified as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the EU.
Though the campaign is still hours away from officially starting (the first session begins at 5pm GMT today and will see questions answered by Huda Naim, Palestinian MP and female Hamas leader), the hashtag has already gone viral.
And as is typically the case, almost all the tweets are negative, sarcastic or simply inane.
#AskHamas How do you feel about your leader hiding out in a fancy hotel in Doha while there was a war in Gaza?— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) March 13, 2015
is tunnel vision the most common eye problem in Gaza?March 12, 2015
Any thoughts on "Son of Hamas" winning an award at the Sundance Film Festival? Is the book better? #AskHamas— Pesach Benson (@PesachBenson) March 13, 2015
#AskHamas why do your leaders live outside of Gaza?— Goliath Applesauce (@JIDFfan) March 13, 2015
#askhamas do you feel comfortable launching your social media campaign on a site founded by a Jew— Jonny Braham (@jonnybraham) March 13, 2015
Some however suggest the more offensive users of the hashtag have simply highlighted their own bigotry...
If you want to plumb the virulent depths of Zionist racism, scroll the #AskHamas hashtag. It's a brilliant ploy to illustrate their bigotry.— Joe Catron (@jncatron) March 12, 2015
The number of Israeli Trolls out there coz of the #AskHamas is really staggering. Must mean something if you ask me 😄March 13, 2015