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Israeli military to have new unit of social networking sites

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JERUSALEM (BNS): Israeli military will set up a separate unit that would use social networking sites as part of its cyber defence strategy.

The new department would focus on the Internet's social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, to reach out to international audience directly rather than through the regular media, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Brig Gen Avi Benayahu said.

Journalists on Monday gathered in a conference at Eilat where the proposal for the unit was presented as well as an initiative by the Information and Diaspora Ministry to train people to represent Israel independently on the Internet and in other arenas, according to a report by PTI on Tuesday.

According to Benayahu, youngsters who are experts in Web 2.0 - YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, will be identified during induction to the IDF Spokesman's office and assigned the job.

The head of communications at the Army Spokesman's office, Col Ofer Kol said that they wanted to reach "mainly an international audience that is less exposed to operational processes."

"Foreign media do more zooming-in and so it's important for us to show the totality of IDF actions without a filter."

The Spokesman's Office has also contacted bloggers who are known as opinion-makers and sent them information and pictures directly.

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