Pro-Israel ads have been spotted across social media — including on X, formerly Twitter, and YouTube — but now the information war with Hamas has reached a new frontier in video games aimed at children, Reuters reported on Monday.
At least six ads have been spotted in games by users in Britain, Austria, France, Germany and The Netherlands. Among the games they appear on are kid favorite Angry Birds, as well as a mobile version of Solitaire and “Subway Surfers.,” a popular adventure game.
One ad reportedly contained depictions of Hamas militants, frightened Israeli families and blurred graphic footage, with a message from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs that reads: “WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT THOSE WHO HARM US PAY A HEAVY PRICE.”
Speaking to Reuters, U.K.-based parent Maria Julia Cassis said her young son was “shocked” by one of the graphic ads that appeared on a game he was playing, and she deleted the game.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed it was behind the ads but said it had “no idea” how they made their way into children’s games. More than a dozen advertising companies affiliated with these games denied any knowledge of the ads on their network, Reuters reported.
The Israeli government has spent at least $1.5 million on digital ads promoting Israel since Palestinian terrorist group Hamas attacked the country on Oct. 7, according to the report.
Yet the ads also underscore the challenge of keeping potentially harmful digital content out of sight of children.
“We want the world to understand that what happened here in Israel,” David Saranga, head of digital at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Reuters. “It’s a massacre.”