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Israel's New York Consulate will hold a "live citizen press conference" over Twitter on Tuesday hosted by David Saranga, consul for media and public affairs at the consulate.
Twitter is a free "micro-blogging" website that lets users report their moment-to-moment thoughts in "tweets," or messages no longer than 140 characters. Friends can follow these tweets and respond to them. The service is particularly popular on hand-held devices such as cellphones and PDAs.
Twitter has been used in the past by aid agencies to convey real-time information during emergencies, and famously by NASA for daily updates on the discoveries of its Mars exploration rovers.
But the Tuesday event, to be held between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Israel time, is "the first time that a government is holding such a conference on Twitter," the consulate said in a statement.
"We are constantly getting questions from the public regarding the situation in Israel and Gaza," explained Saranga, "so we are answering the public's callâ€¦to answer these questions directly."
Twitter users can take part in the event by going to: http://www.twitter.com/IsraelConsulate and directing their messages to @israelconsulate and including the tag #AskIsrael.
Questions will be answered on Twitter, with a link to IsraelPolitik (http://www.israelpolitik.org/) if the answer exceeds TwitterÂ¹s maximum length of 140 characters.
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