TEL AVIV Ñ Israel's newly-modified missile alert system has been
The system was said to have worked smoothly this week and alerted
Israeli authorities to the launch of Kassam-class short-range missiles from
the northern Gaza Strip. Officials said the system, called "Reliable
Network," was meant to warn civilian authorities and residents of the
Israeli city of Sderot, the target of most Kassam attacks.
Officials said the system, developed by Rafael, Israel Armament
Development Authority, spotted two Kassam missiles on Oct. 13 and
automatically relayed an alert over the civil defense network. Loudspeakers
throughout Sderot broadcast the Hebrew equivalent of "Red Dawn," the code
for a Kassam attack.
[On Friday, Israel's military wound down its operation in the northern
Gaza Strip to stop Kassam attacks. Officials said that after 16 days of
battling Palestinian insurgents most of the Israeli troops and military
assets would be removed from the area. Hours later, two Palestinian missiles
or rockets landed in Israel, Middle East Newsline reported. Nobody was injured.]
Reliable Network was meant to provide civilians with up to 20 seconds
before the landing of a Kassam missile. The system was based on radar,
observation posts and acoustic sensors meant to detect and warn of an
approaching short-range missile.
The system was introduced in September, but in initial operations failed
to alert authorities or residents of Kassam attacks. Rafael engineers then
resolved the technical glitches and returned the missile warning and alert
system last week.
The Israeli military's Home Command has briefed residents on guidelines
during a Kassam attack. The guidelines call for those in Sderot to seek
shelter when they hear the code for a missile strike.
The guidelines call on pedestrians unable to find shelter within 20
seconds of a Kassam alert to lie on the ground with their hands protecting
their heads. Motorists in Sderot were asked to immediately park their cars.
Officials said Reliable Network would not operate between 10 p.m. and 6
a.m. They said that during these hours most Sderot residents would be
indoors and largely protected from Palestinian missiles.