The IDF Home Front Command will begin a nationwide experiment on Sunday in which
it will send mock text messages to cellphones warning of incoming missile
attacks. The experiment will last until Thursday.
Message,” the alert system has been under development for several years. It can
deliver area-specific warnings based on the projection of an incoming trajectory
of a rocket or missile.
During the test, members of the public receive
the following message, “The Home Front Command, checking cellular alert system,”
followed by a number.
Messages will be sent in Hebrew, Arabic, English
and Russian. Home Front Command officials say the messages will be directed on
the basis of geographical areas, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
On Sunday and
Monday, residents of Ramle will receive the messages, while residents of Haifa,
Tel Aviv, Acre, Nahariya, Karmiel, Safed, Netanya, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and other
cities will do so on Tuesday.
Kiryat Shmona, Rishon Lezion, Rehovot,
Yavne, Dimona and other cities will receive messages on Wednesday, while
Jerusalemites and residents of Modi’in, Bet Shemesh, Mevaseret Zion and other
areas can expect them on Thursday.
The IDF has been working on
integrating the cellphone alert system into its early-warning program – mostly
based on air-raid sirens – but has encountered resistance from several cellular
companies. The carriers do not want to enable their phones to receive the
warnings, which come in the form of a text message.
“This will improve
our ability to issue warnings just to people who are inside a specific area that
is going to be hit by missiles,” a Home Front officer explained.
Front Command said Saturday that members of the public who do not wish to
receive the service can ask their cellphone operators to disconnect from
The system is due to become operational this month.
Katz contributed to this report.