Soldiers and civilians try to extinguish a car on fire after a missile attack in the city of Ashkelon, Israel, on Tuesday.
Credit: Lorenzo Tugnoli / The Washington Post

A WhatsApp voice memo purporting to have insider information ricocheted across hundreds of group chats in Israel early on Monday. The Israeli army was planning for another “battle like we’ve never experienced before,” the anonymous woman said in Hebrew, warning that people should prepare to lose access to food, water and internet service for a week.

Across the country, Israelis raced to the banks and to the grocery stores, anticipating another attack. But the message, the army clarified hours later on X, turned out to be a falsehood.

One week into the war between Israel and Gaza, social media is inducing a fog of war surpassing previous clashes in the region — one that’s shaping how panicked citizens and a global public view the conflict.

Social media has long played a critical role in battles in the area. During the 11-day war between […]

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