Home Front to Broadcast on Channel 33 in Event of Iraq War

In the event of an Iraqi missile attack on Israel, television Channel 33 will be used by the Home Front to give instructions to civilians.

Amos Harel
Tsahar Rotem
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Amos Harel
Tsahar Rotem

In the event of an Iraqi missile attack on Israel, television Channel 33 will be used by the Home Front to give instructions to civilians.

The Israel Defense Forces and the Broadcasting Authority are working on a plan under which the Home Front will broadcast six to eight hours daily on Channel 33 to give the population relevant information. Interviews with experts will be aired and films will be broadcast showing how to act in case of emergency.

Preparations by the Home Front and the IDF Spokesman's Office have gone into high gear over the past few weeks. Meetings have been held with representatives of the various electronic media and guidelines drawn up for coordination.

Israel Radio and Army Radio will operate a "silent wavelength" - like that in the Gulf War - over which warnings of missile attacks will be broadcast. The code name this time will be "Homat Barzel" (Iron Wall) and whenever necessary, it will be broadcast over all the wavelengths including the "silent" one. The population will be instructed to leave the silent wavelength on at nights, when sleeping, and it will serve religious Jews during the Sabbath as well.

Special precautions are being taken for deaf people who cannot hear the sirens and radio, and 2,000 vibrating beepers will be distributed to them in the coming days. The intention is to provide all 10,000 deaf people in the country with such a beeper.

Meanwhile, residents of the center of the country are showing growing interest in renting accommodations in the south as the fear of an impending war with Iraq grows more concrete. Reservations are being made for long periods, starting in November when, according to some assessments, the American attack could begin.

Individuals and groups have approached the Ramon Inn in Mitzpe Ramon and various kibbutz guest houses, as well as youth hostels and private bed-and-breakfast businesses in the Negev, to "hold" places for them, "just in case."

According to Raz Arbel, head of the Har Hanegev tourism association, if hostilities do indeed break out in Iraq, the hotels and hostels will offer monthly deals. He says that this is what they did during the Gulf War and, at that time, most of them had 100 percent occupancy.

A Tel Aviv lawyer has meanwhile set up a center that will provide a list of "safe havens" for residents of the Dan region. He has made contacts in both the south and the north of the country and hopes to charge agent's fees for the service. The lawyer is planning to begin advertising his service this weekend.

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