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Cell phone Photo by Reuters
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The Pelephone cellular service provider closed its consumer service centers in Be'er Sheva and Ashdod at 3 P.M. Monday, due to the past several days' escalation of the security situation in the south, including rocket fire from the Gaza Strip directed at the two cities. The firm also closed its customer call centers in Be'er Sheva and Ashdod, creating higher than usual traffic at its other call centers.

Pelephone explained the service center closures as an effort not to endanger the company's employees and customers. "In addition," Pelephone said in a statement, "as a result of the small number of employees at the telephone call centers in Be'er Sheva and Ashdod, calls are being directed to the other centers around the country, and therefore longer than usual wait times are possible. We are working in coordination with the Home Front Command, and the centers will be opening on a day-to-day basis in accordance with a daily situation assessment."

Pelephone said it would provide a free perk to residents of the south as of today in the form of access to Super TV, the firm's cell phone-based television service.

The other two large cellular service providers, Cellcom and Partner, which does business as Orange, kept their customer service locations in the south open during their regular business hours, and Partner Communications actually held its management meeting in the south yesterday.