The Hamas interior ministry has issued guidelines to social media users in the Gaza Strip on how to report on the Israeli attack in the crisis-hit area.

The guidelines aim to make sure that coverage of the military action by Israel in the Gaza Strip is controlled and avoids damaging Hamas' image, or leaking information that would be valuable to the Israeli Army.

The ministry's guidelines, dubbed the "Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign," were issued via an instructional video posted on its official website and via posters and videos published on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

The Hamas interior ministry website statement, issued along with an instructional video, said: "The Information Department of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security has instructed activists on social media websites, particularly Facebook, to correct some of the commonly used terms as they cover the aggression taking place in the Gaza Strip.... [and] to use the proper terminology, in order to play their part in strengthening the home front and in properly conveying information worldwide."

Twitter users have shared thousands of harrowing images of the crisis, under hashtags including #GazaUnderFire, #GazaUnderAttack and #GazaCrisis.

It is reported that the social media guidelines, published on the Hamas Interior Ministry's social media pages, instructs social media users to always refer to Gazans and Palestinians killed during the fighting as "innocent", the Israeli action as a "cruel attack", and to use the narrative of lives vs the narrative of blood to "humanise the Palestinian suffering" in conversations with Westerners.

People posting on Facebook should avoid posting pictures of videos of rocket launches or masked fighters with weapons – to prevent the page being closed down by moderators, it adds.