warning siren 248.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy )
Air-raid sirens will sound in Jerusalem and neighboring communities on Tuesday morning to test the efficacy of the early-warning system in and around the city.
The minute-long siren will wail at 10 a.m. In certain areas, an announcement will be made on neighborhood public address systems immediately following the siren.
The aim of the rare city drill is to ensure that the siren is heard throughout the city and suburban communities. City residents may fax or phone the municipality's 106 hot-line on Tuesday to report any difficulties in hearing the siren.
The decision to test the sirens was made after residents of both southern and northern Israel complained during the recent military conflict in Gaza that the sirens were dulled or not heard at all in certain areas.
On January 14, towards the end of Operation Cast Lead, a malfunction set off Jerusalem's air-raid sirens, throwing much of the city into a panic for several minutes.
But Jerusalem has not been targeted by Palestinian rocket fire to date, and the drill is not linked to any intelligence warning of such an attack, military officials said.
"It is important for us to stress in advance that this is an exercise, so as to avoid any panic among the public," said Col. Yoram Lev-Ran, the Home Front Command's Jerusalem district commander, noting that schools and public and government offices have been informed of the exercise.
Lev-Ran added that such a drill was necessary in times of peace in order to properly prepared.
"We've learned from our experience in the past that even peaceful places like Ashdod and Ashkelon are exposed to danger, and so we want to be prepared during routine times," he said.
Meanwhile, warning sirens were heard in Kiryat Shmona on Sunday afternoon but they were apparently a false alarm, the army said.
Security forces said they had no reports of an explosion or of any rocket falling.