An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities)




The paper examines digital discourses of and on the Palestinian movement, Hamas on Twitter. The data corpus contains tweets and retweets by Shehab News Agency (Hamas’s agency), and all tweets associated with the hashtag #hamas and produced by any tweeter. The data resources were extracted in January 2022. The paper uses Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (1996 & 2006) social semiotic approach and critical discourse tools to examine online, textual and visual features of tweets. The findings show that the word occupation الاحتلال is the most frequent word in the tweets of Shehab News Agency, and it is associated with hashtags such as Hamas, Jerusalem, among other words. The result of world cloud shows that the hashtag #Hamas is associated with frequent words and hashtags, e.g., #gaza, #palestine, #israel, #terrorism, #terror, #hamasterrorists, ##thegazayoudontsee, #theykidnappedgaza. This discursive strategy leaves a negative representation on Hamas and legitimizes any actions conducted by Israel or any actors against Hamas. The analysis shows while Hamas’s discourses such as resistance of the Israeli occupation, Hamas is linked with terrorism as seen in tweets associated with the hashtag #hamas. In conclusion, as expected in party-loyal media, the digital discourse on twitter on and of Hamas is understood as a struggle between Hamas and Israel a fight between Hamas and Israel rather than a war against Palestinians who pay high prices. This is because Twitter blocks Hamas’s accounts and mostly remove Palestinians’ materials and contents that criticize Israel.