During times of emergency the various Israeli radio stations are of course an important source of information for Israel’s residents. As well as news and regular updates, they also broadcast instructions to the public on how to behave during rocket attacks. In addition, they announce every alert of incoming rockets – ‘Tseva Adom’ or ‘Colour Red’.
To give readers an idea of what that sounds like, here is a list of the interruptions to regular broadcasts because of incoming rocket alerts throughout one hour alone today – November 15th 2012.
14:28 – Tseva Adom
14:34 – Tseva Adom
14:52 – Tseva Adom
14:53 – Tseva Adom
14:54 – Tseva Adom
14:55 – Tseva Adom
14:55 – additional Tseva Adom in another location
14:57 – Tseva Adom
15:07 – Tseva Adom
15:17 – Tseva Adom
15:18 – Tseva Adom
15:23 – Tseva Adom
In some cases, the same places received alerts multiple times. Every time the name of their town or village is announced, the residents have a very limited period of time, depending on their location, in which to find cover from the incoming rocket or rockets.
BBC Watch took part in a conference call with IDF spokesperson Lt Col Avital Leibovich this evening. Lt Col Leibovich reiterated that the aim of the current operation is to defend Israeli civilians and to restore normal, peaceful life to one million residents in southern Israel by hampering terrorist capabilities and thus reducing the level of rocket fire.
Since the operation began, the IDF has struck over 220 targets including rocket launching squads, launching sites and weapons stores – among them those containing Fajr 5 Iranian-built and supplied missiles capable of reaching long-range targets such as Tel Aviv. Lt Col Leibovich pointed out that the Gaza Strip is the only place in which the Fajr 5 is used outside of Iran. A large number of underground launching sites have been targeted since yesterday and considerable damage has been caused to the terrorists’ arsenal.
Well over 200 rockets have been fired at Israeli population centres, with a clear emphasis on the larger towns and cities such as Ashdod, Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva. The Iron Dome missile defence system has had very high success rates in the areas in which it is operational.
Lt Col Leibovich confirmed that one rocket landed in an open area near Rishon L’Tsion and – in a separate incident – that despite the fact that sirens were sounded in greater Tel Aviv area (which the BBC News World Tweeted as being Israel’s ‘capital’: see Honest Reporting here), no rockets hit the ground in that area.
Also today, fourteen Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were admitted into Israel for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals – as happens almost every other day of the year.