More than 750,000 people have downloaded Red Alert, an unofficial smartphone app that uses real-time information from the Israel Defense Forces and Homefront Command to give a warning of between 15 and 90 seconds when a rocket is fired into Israel from Gaza. Developed during the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, it allows users to select push alerts based on where they live.
For those concerned about kidnappings—the current military flare-up was triggered by the capture and murder last month of three Israeli teens—there is SOS, which triggers a personal safety alert with a single right-swipe, making it easier to raise the alarm when a phone call is not possible.
There's also an app that helps Israelis find their nearest bomb shelter. Not all apps have endured: a Palestinian-made iPhone app promoting a third intifada (Arabic for "uprising") by Palestinians against Israel was reportedly removed by Apple because it was deemed offensive.
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The fastest-moving social media battleground is Twitter, where breaking news and eyewitness accounts are rapidly changing the course of diplomacy as well as events on the ground.
Israeli Defense Force public information account has nearly 350,000 followers and supplies a constant stream of official statements and updates about IDF activity, including reports of targeted strikes against militants who it euphemistically describes as having been "neutralized." Israeli
police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld also shares pictures and updates on his own feed.
"Social media is actually a war zone for us here in Israel," Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, who founded an IDF unit dedicated to producing online postings, told CNBC. "Here we can have our own campaigns, we can decide on the size of the headline, what that headline will be and exactly which pictures and which footage to upload."
On the Palestinian side, the military wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam Brigades, has several similar accounts in different languages
including an English feed with more than 11,000 followers. The accounts are sometimes suspended, but new ones routinely pop up to take their place. Visceral eyewitness pictures of dead and dying are often shared by activists under hashtags including #GazaUnderAttack and #PrayForGaza.
Read MoreThe Gaza trap