Given how serious this topic is, I’ll dispense with all humor.

Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, or what it self-describes in a more terse fashion as simply the “Alqassam Brigades,” is currently live tweeting its retaliation to what it considers to be terrorists strikes on the Gaza Strip. The Alqassam Brigades are what you could describe as the military arm of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip.

Note the use of time stamps and hashtags:

2012 11 14 13h56 54 Real time war in the age of Twitter, a short look at the front lines

TNW has specifically requested confirmation from Twitter concerning this account as to whether it is official, or not. Unlike the IDF’s Twitter account that is currently on the ‘other side’ of this military conflict, and digital spat, the above account is not desginated as ‘verified’ by Twitter.

As of now, TNW has heard nothing back from Twitter in response to any of our questions submitted several hours ago.

Another image helps to explain the new world we are now seeing, in clarity that has never before been afforded:

2012 11 14 14h01 36 Real time war in the age of Twitter, a short look at the front lines

It’s easy to get caught up in the back and forth of the two accounts, the exchanges betwixt that are almost comical in their heartbreaking starkness, meaning that it is easy to lose track of the painful truths that are at play.

As the Hamas group tweets:

2012 11 14 14h04 41 Real time war in the age of Twitter, a short look at the front lines

And Israel’s army tweets:

2012 11 14 14h06 11 Real time war in the age of Twitter, a short look at the front lines

The novelty of seeing this battle on Twitter loses all shine. People are dying to rockets and strikes. And in the digital world, @ messages and #s are the result. For something so deathly serious, the whimsical and brief forum that Twitter provides is hardly sufficient dirge for the day’s deaths.

To help put this is all in a more human context, the following clip was posted to YouTube by the IDF, showing off its targeted killing of a Hamas leader:

That killing - assassination, depending on your view – prompted the following:

2012 11 14 14h23 47 Real time war in the age of Twitter, a short look at the front lines

Declarations of war: Now coming to you in 140 characters or less.

Top Image Credit: Joi Ito