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IDF spokesperson

  • 'For the first time in history, Jews can take part in war from home'

    Avi Benayahu, who served as IDF Spokesperson during both Operation Cast Lead and the Mavi Marmara incident, explains his worldview and tactics in a lecture obtained by +972 Magazine, including how he sent army officers pretending to be civilians onto foreign television news.  Until Brigadier-General (ret.) Avi Benayahu was appointed to be the IDF Spokesperson in 2007, the unit did little more than send Israeli newspapers photos of soldiers celebrating Passover. But between 2007 and 2011, Benayahu — then-Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's right-hand — revolutionized the antiquated unit, transforming it into one of Israel's leading "hasbara" (propaganda, or "public diplomacy")…

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  • How the IDF's hi-tech revolution cheapens Palestinian lives

    The IDF is developing new technology that will eventually cut down on the need for soldiers to go to the front lines. What does this mean for the Palestinians whose lives will hang on the decision of a machine? The Israeli army is optimistic that there will be no need for soldiers to be stationed on Israel’s borders in the future. Not because there will be peace, and not because there will be no need to maintain militarized borders. Rather it is because they are working towards unmanned, weaponized patrol vehicles that will do the job instead. A blog post on…

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  • WATCH: IDF officer gets prison for throwing stones at journalists

    The incident is not the first time Israeli security officials have been documented attacking journalists at West Bank protests, and in the village of Nabi Saleh. An IDF officer videotaped throwing rocks at Israeli and Palestinian photojournalists last week was sentenced to two weeks in prison. A second officer was sentenced to 30 days confinement on base. In a video first published by +972 and Activestills on Friday, a deputy company commander can be seen throwing rocks at a freelance Israeli photojournalist and a Palestinian photographer who works for Agence France‑Presse (AFP). One of the officers also tackled the Israeli…

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  • The IDF unmasks an anonymous source — itself

    Security agencies in Israel love to give reporters information without attribution, refusing to stand behind what they say. Every once in a while, they publish the same information on their official websites. By Ido Kenan In July 2011, a year after the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, in which passengers attacked Israeli forces who then killed 10 of them, Turkish organization IHH planned a second flotilla to Gaza. In an attempt to preempt the second flotilla, the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, approved the transfer of medical equipment donated by the Turkish Red Crescent…

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  • For the Israeli media, Gazan lives are little more than expendable

    Nearly two months after the end of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli media refuses to ask the difficult questions. Who decided that killing entire families is now allowed? What is the justification for doing so? And why won't the army explain why it killed five members of the Joudah family? Why doesn't anyone care about the Joudah family? Nearly two months have passed since Israeli Air Force pilots bombed their yard in Gaza, killing the mother of the family and four of her children. Until today, the IDF has not published an explanation of the incident. Actually, almost no one…

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  • Truth is the first casualty when war is declared

    The recurring elements in the manipulation of public opinion and discourse in wartime also appeared during ‘Protective Edge.’ Shaked Spier brings you the Ten Truths, Ten Commandments and Ten Lies of war. By Shaked Spier The truth Several truths dominated the hegemonic discourse in Israel during and since “Protective Edge”: 1. Israel doesn't want war, we only defend ourselves 2. Hamas was solely responsible for this war 3. The Hamas leadership is evil and looks evil 4. Israel is defending a noble cause, not special interests 5. Hamas carries out intentional atrocities; we only make mistakes (“collateral damage”) 6. Hamas…

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  • IDF spokesperson expresses regret over killing of single Palestinian child

    You really have to give credit where credit is due. Even if it is to the IDF. Soldiers killed 12-year-old Muhammad al-Anati during clashes with local youth in the Hebron area on Sunday. According to reports, al-Anati was killed after being struck by a bullet in the back, and was not involved in the clashes. However, it seems that the IDF is willing to learn from past mistakes. This time, unlike recent similar events, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit immediately released a message [Hebrew] saying an inquiry had been launched and that the army expressed its regret over al-Anati's death. One can hope…

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  • What happens when the IDF embeds Israeli reporters

    The Israeli army recently began allowing reporters to join night raids in the West Bank. The result is exactly what you might expect. By Oren Persico / 'The 7th Eye' One week after the start of "Operation Brother's Keeper," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit arranged an opportunity for the Israeli press just in time for the newspapers’ weekend editions: an opportunity to report from the front lines. Journalists were invited to join military units operating in the Palestinian Authority and to cover the operation to eliminate Hamas infrastructure and the search for the three kidnapped Israelis from up close. This system, embedded journalism,…

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  • 'Parts of West Bank operation were planned ahead of time'

    IDF officer admits Operation Brother's Keeper has little to do with returning the kidnapped teenagers.   By Yael Marom Parts of Operation Brother's Keeper were planned in advance and are being implemented with no connection to their stated purpose - the return of the three kidnapped Israelis teenagers - according to an IDF officer in Jenin. The officer, who spoke to the ultra-Orthodox news outlet "Hadrei Haredim," (Hebrew) said that the army has been preparing for an operation in the city due to the arming of residents there. According to Hadrei Hadarim, the officer stated that the army is intentionally trying to…

  • Beitunia killings: Autopsy reveals Palestinian teen shot by live fire

    An autopsy of Nadim Syam Nuwara, one of the two teenagers killed last month during the Nakba Day protests in Beitunia, reveals that that the teen was killed by live fire, according to a report by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. According to B'Tselem, Nuwara’s body has been well-preserved, making the point of entry and exit, as well as the route of the bullet, easily identifiable. Although the report is slated to be released in the next several days, doctors have rejected the possibility that the cause of death was rubber bullets, and are fairly confident that the bullet entered…

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  • In IDF fantasy video, Palestinians are allowed to protest

    Just when you thought it couldn't get any more embarrassing or distorted, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit has managed to top itself. On Sunday, the unit published a new video on its YouTube channel, showing scenes of Palestinian demonstrators throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers firing rounds of tear gas "in self-defense" in the West Bank village of Qaddum. Every Friday for the past two years, the villagers of Qaddum (along with Israeli and international activists) have marched toward the nearby settlement of Kedumim to protest the continuing expropriation of their land. As in every un-armed protest across the West Bank, the IDF…

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  • Why did the IDF assassinate two Palestinian journalists?

    The Israeli army still refuses to comment on several incidents in which journalists affiliated with Hamas, but with no connection to military activities, were targeted. In response to an inquiry by an Israeli journalist, an IDF Spokesperson representative wondered why he cares about a couple of Palestinians that died 'a million years ago.' On November 20, during the Israeli army’s last operation in Gaza ("Pillar of Defense"), the IDF targeted a car on a Gaza City street with two cameramen from al-Aqsa TV - Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama - killing them both. Al-Aqsa is the official television station of…

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  • ‘Settlements ignite a chain reaction of human rights violations’

    +972 speaks with Jessica Montell, of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, about the settlements and occupation staring the Israeli public in the face, and communicating the human rights message effectively, at home and abroad. From her fourth floor office window in Jerusalem, Jessica Montell can see the red-tiled roofs of Israeli homes inside the settlement of Gilo, east of the Green Line, in annexed East Jerusalem. She can also see Givat HaMatos, another West Bank community, where Israel is planning a new settlement. “It’s not an ivory tower,” she says of her office…

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