Israelis to Get Rocket Alerts by Text Message

Home Front Command will send text messages to residents of Israel's south, center Sharon and Jerusalem regions when in 'severe' danger.

Gaza rocket
Smoke trailing rockets fired from Gaza at Israel in July 2014.Reuters

Residents of Israel's south, center, Sharon, and Jerusalem regions will receive text messages directly to their cellphones alerting them of rocket sirens starting Friday, Israel announced Thursday.

The Home Front Command announced that the system will be used in case of "severe" alerts, and added that it is possible messages will be sent to areas where rocket sirens were not activated. The cellphone companies that will be supporting the system are Orange, Pelephone, and Cellcom.

Besides the standard sirens, Israelis have been able to learn of rocket attacks through television and radio announcements, as well as by keeping their radios tuned to a specific radio station at night that remains silent except for alerts. In addition, a number of apps have been available to alert citizens about rockets and to inform them where the nearest bomb shelter is located.

Hamas has fired some 2,300 rockets toward Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.