In a move to “strengthen” dialogue with Arabs, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can now be found on Twitter posting in Arabic.
His new account, launched earlier this month, has attracted new followers mainly from Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon and his first posts have set out to relay direct messages to them.
"The aim of this account is to deepen the dialogue with you," on of the account’s first tweets read on Dec. 14.
"Greetings from the holy city of Jerusalem,” read another.
More recently, the Israeli PM is Arabic-tweeting on the nearby Syrian conflict.
“We will take the necessary steps to prepare for the likelihood of significant changes in the Syrian regime and repercussions resulting from the weapons located there,” a post in Netanyahu’s account read earlier this week.
As Syria's southern neighbor, Israel has been concerned about chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist militants or Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, warning it could intervene to stop such developments.
“We follow developments in Syria and the dramatic events that happen nearly every day,” another post read.
The Arabic-tinted move into social media would allow Netanyahu’s office "[to strengthen] dialogue with Arab media and public opinion,” the PM’s Arab media spokesman, Ofir Gendelman was quoted by local media as saying.
Social media methods, including Twitter, proved to be a strong means of promoting Israel’s case during the latest conflict with Gaza last month, which claimed more than 100 lives in the Strip.
In November, both the Israeli army spokesperson (@IDFspokesperson) and @AlqassamBrigade began trading insults over Twitter over the past week.
The IDF had announced its attacks on Hamas via Twitter: “We recommend no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”
The message prompted a response from Hamas, with the @AlqassamBrigade tweeting: “Our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are (You Opened Hell Gates on Yourselves).”
The tweet was reposted (retweeted) on the microblogging network over 600 times.