Israelis run for shelter as a siren sounds during a rocket attack near Yad Mordechai at the Israeli side of the Israel Gaza border July 14, 2018 .
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
MK Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) called for prompt changes to be made to the Home Front Command’s Red Alert smartphone application on Sunday after Gaza border residents said they received no warning of an incoming rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.
Earlier this month, the Home Front Command prevented access to the incoming rocket alert file on its website following complaints of numerous false alarms that were issued by other apps.
“During the past week, many citizens living near the Gaza border complained to me that blocking applications warning of rocket launches into Israel, and the possibility of connecting only to the Home Front Command application, has damaged the sense of security they require,” Jelin wrote in a letter to the head of Home Front Command, Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yadai.
The official Home Front Command application only permits users to receive alerts in three communities at most, preventing residents from being aware of sirens across the entire Gaza border community. This is especially dangerous for those who regularly travel between multiple border towns.
Shai Cohen, a resident of Kibbutz Zikim, took to Twitter to complain that he hadn’t received any warning of the rocket on Saturday night.
“The Home Front Command application is not particularly successful, and the majority of people here use applications developed by private individuals,” Cohen said.
“Home Front Command blocked these applications, forcing residents to choose the Home Front Command application. Now there was a siren and I didn’t hear it.”
Jelin requested that Home Front Command act quickly to ensure that regional alerts are enabled on the application.
“The more a citizen knows, the more secure he will feel, especially during times of escalation like these, manifested by rocket fire into Israeli territory.”Anna Ahronheim contributed to this story.