According to a BBC report, Israel has begun targeting cell phones to warn Lebanese to leave southern Lebanon: “On Friday, residents of southern Lebanon reported receiving recorded messages on their mobile phones from an unknown caller. The speaker identified himself as an Israeli and warned people in the area to leave their homes and head north. ”
It’s not precisely clear how the Lebanese are supposed to actually accomplish this, since according to the reports I’ve been reading, (Here is one from Time, also cited inthe BBC Report above) the roads are almost impassable: “Almost all the roads that criss-cross the hills and valleys of the south have been heavily cratered from multiple air strikes, making them impassable. Even United Nations peacekeepers with their armored personnel carriers have abandoned the effort to resupply or evacuate residents of southern villages because of the conditions of the roads and the Israeli shelling and air strikes. ‘We are in close contact with the Israelis to request safe passage but their answer has not been forthcoming,’ says Milos Strugar, senior advisor to the UN force, known as UNIFIL.”
Still, most are trying – some, of course, are refusing to leave their homes, which will undoubetdly add to the current tragedy. Please folks, try: homes can be rebuilt….
But I digress: it’s interesting to see the ways in which Israel is indeed trying to convince people to go. The Time article noted above, also notes, “The Israelis also are using more unorthodox methods of conveying their warning — SMS text messages and recorded voice messages to local officials. Hassan Dbouk, who works with Tyre’s municipality, says he received an early morning phone call on his landline and heard a voice say ‘This is the Israeli Army. We are about to increase our military operations in south Lebanon and you are advised to leave immediately to north of the Litani.’ ‘I’m staying,’ Dbouk says.”