Global, Israel, Politics, Uncategorized

Interesting war use of technology

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.”

5 thoughts on “Interesting war use of technology

  1. IDF must be learning from American political campaigns and telemarketers, where “robocalls” are common, though not particularly effective. Private sector firms, political campaigns, and other organizations are experimenting with a wide array of new online tools. Maybe what Israel can do next is calm the conflict by creating a Friendster profile and “making friends” with Lebanon?

  2. For some time Israel has been using SMS broadcasts to keep residents of northern communities apprised of what’s going on. During Katyusha launches and IDF shelling reprisals prior the current conflict, residents of the North received SMS updates directly from the IDF telling them who was doing what shooting and whether they should go into shelters or not. It is indeed very effective use of technology.

  3. day, July 28, 2006 · Last updated 5:43 p.m. PT
    At least one killed during shooting at Seattle Jewish federation
    One person in custody
    At least five people were shot – one fatally – this afternoon at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle by a man a witness said was upset about “what was going on in Israel.”
    Police spokesman Rich Pruitt said there was one shooter, who was apprehended without incident outside the Jewish Federation Building located on the corner of Third Avenue and Virginia Street. Pruitt said there were at least two victims on the third floor of the building.
    Police got reports of shots fired shortly before 4 p.m.
    Early reports were that the victims were shot in the stomach.
    The alleged shooter was taken away in a patrol car after being handcuffed on the sidewalk outside the building. Pruitt could not immediately say what motive the alleged gunman had.
    One witness, who declined to give her name, said a man walked into the Jewish Federation building with a gun, said he was upset about what was going on in Israel, then opened fire. After the shootings, the man said to call 911, the witness said. The witness said the man identified himself as an American Muslim.
    Fighting has raged in the Middle East since Hezbollah, a Shiite militia group based in Lebanon, went into Israel and kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Israel retaliated by striking targets in Lebanon and has sent troops into the southern part of the country.
    Witnesses to the afternoon shooting and people who work at the Jewish Federation described a chaotic, terrifying scene.
    Kami Knatt works at the federation’s Holocaust center. As he exited the building, she saw a wounded coworker fall down. Knatt took her sweater off and tried to stop the bleeding.
    “I asked her ‘are you OK’. She said no I’ve been shot. ‘I kept saying it’s going to be OK.”
    The victim told Knatt: “I’m going to black out, I’m going to black out.” Knatt replied: “You’re going to be alright.”
    Nathaniel Mullins, 43, was turning onto Lenora Street with his 19-year-old daughter when he heard police say “get back! get back!”
    Mullins said he saw two shooting victims. “They were covered in blood,” he said.
    “We were scared, heck yeah. It shot me for a moment.”
    Zach Carstensen, who is the director of government relations for the Jewish Federation, said he heard shots and screams.
    “People started running and I started running with them,” Carstensen said.
    Asked whether he thought his office had been targeted because of the conflict in the Mideast, Carstensen said he wasn’t sure. “We’re all a little shaken, he said.
    Sam Peterson, 18, who lives in an apartment on Third and Blanchard, said she was walking to the Lenora Apartment Building and cutting through the corner of Sigs Barbershop when she heard at least one gunshot.
    She saw a blonde woman “drop to the ground. She screamed.”
    A Harborview Hospital spokeswoman said of five victims, three were in the operating room with shotgun wounds to the abdomen, knee, groin and arm. The spokeswoman wouldn’t be more specific.
    The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle was established 1926. According to its Web site, its mission is to “ensure Jewish survival and to enhance the quality of Jewish life locally, in Israel and worldwide.”
    Phuong Le can be reached at 206-448-8390 or [email protected].

  4. Extraordinarily bad news out of Seattle:
    Five shot, one dead, three in critical condition after Pakistani man shot up the Jewish Federation which is apparently downtown. He allegedly claimed it was a response for Israel and surrenderd without incident to police after telling people to call 911.

  5. Where is the THEL, the laser that was developed to shoot the rockets out of the sky? Israel had a working prototype in 2000.

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