Only two days after the takeover of the Mavi Marmara and the Gaza flotilla, the Information and Diaspora Ministry submitted an urgent request to establish a "virtual situation room" - without publishing a tender.

The ministry, headed by Information and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud ), asked permission to be allowed to set up its new network without competitive bidding, as required by law. The ministry estimated the cost for the first six months at NIS 300,000.

Before the Gaza flotilla arrived, Edelstein told his director general, Ronen Plot, to establish contacts with overseas Jewish communities to provide them with information to support the Israeli cause. The ministry enlisted volunteers who used their own social networking frameworks to do the work.

The ministry has now realized that it needs to set up its own network for updating and keeping in contact with people around the world, via the Internet.

"Using systematic and simple operations, which will not require much manpower, we will be able to update, mobilize and brief Jews abroad," wrote the ministry in its request to the Finance Ministry's tenders committee, which is authorized to grant exemptions from tender requirements in exceptional cases.