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Israel launches military unit to document operations


08:35, June 07, 2013

JERUSALEM, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military has inaugurated a new unit tasked with spearheading the Jewish state's efforts to record operations, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Assigned under the IDF Spokesman's Office, the unit, whose soldiers have received extensive training in video and still photography, will accompany combat units on operations to document their work, the report said.

Their footage and images will be made available to both local and international media outlets in real time; sensitive materials will be limited to special users, such as military intelligence and internal probe commissions, according to the report.

"Perception has a critical role... One can win the battle but lose the public perception," Yoav Mordechai, chief spokesman for the Israeli military, told the new unit's soldiers at their graduation ceremony on Wednesday.

The IDF attaches importance to documenting its operations in the West Bank, where violent clashes are common between Israeli security forces and Palestinian militants.

Earlier this year, the IDF Spokesman's Office launched a social media department tasked with posting the military's announcements and video clips on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and the official IDF blog.

A pilot project to train Israeli troops to film units in action was launched in the wake of the Lebanon war in 2006. Soldiers were selected from combat teams for the three-week "Operational Documenters" course, which taught them basic skills in operating a camcorder and a 35mm camera.

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