Some 300,000 kosher cellular phones – SMS-disabled - are in use by members of Israel’s hareidi-religious sector. The IDF is seeking ways for them to receive IDF Homefront Command emergency instructions.
The Homefront Command conducted a first-of-its-kind exercise today: issuing emergency instructions and messages to the populace via SMS messages. It was carried out in southern Israel, and was reported to be successful.
One sector was left out, however: the hareidi public, whose “kosher” phones do not permit text communication, in order to avoid ease of boy-girl communications, frivolity, and worse.
IDF Col. Gil Hoffman, head of the Homefront Command’s Warning and Teleprocessing Department, told Radio Kol Chai that the army is working “together with the cell phone companies and the rabbis’ committees to ensure that the only messages allowed through [on kosher phones] will be from the Homefront Command.”
“We are in the initial stages of this matter,” Hoffman said, “working to enable the acceptance of SMS messages from our command. The messages deal with warnings of rockets and other dangerous events, as well as dangerous materials, fires, or even directives to boil water for drinking when necessary.”