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Israel Tests Text-Message Emergency System

Israel’s Home Front Command will on Sunday begin testing a text-message warning system to individual cell phones with alerts about impending missile attacks or other emergencies, sources from the Israel Defense Forces said. Officials expect the system to be operational by next month.

From Sunday to Thursday, from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M., cell-phone owners subscribing to Cellcom, Pelephone and Orange will receive a message in Hebrew saying “Home Front, testing cell-phone warning system.” The Home Front Command has also agreed in principle to work with Hot Mobile subscribers. This week’s test is the final one before declaring the system operational in September.

At first, the cellular companies objected to cooperating with the Home Front Command, saying the warning system could cause panic. They demanded the Defense Ministry indemnify them in case of lawsuits. After further discussions the two sides agreed, based on legal opinions, that no compensation would be paid, just as none is paid in the case of false alarms.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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