An Israeli app tracking the Gaza conflict has followers near and far

ISRAEL-master675Photo : In Ashkelon, Israel, on Sunday, a woman left the hairdresser’s chair to go to a nearby bomb shelter as sirens rang out. The Hebrew call of “tzeva adom,” or color red, is what is heard by residents in southern Israel in the event of an incoming attack. Credit Jim Hollander/European Pressphoto Agency
Jim Hollander / European Pressphoto Agency

By JODI RUDORENAUG

JERUSALEM — Many Israelis and, especially, their supporters abroad, experienced the intensity of this summer’s long battle against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip primarily the way they do so much of modern life: on their smartphones. Every day of the fighting — sometimes every hour or multiple times a minute — their phones flashed, or sounded a siren, signaling each of the more than 4,200 rockets flying toward Israel from Gaza.

More than one million people have downloaded the free Red Alert app, most after the beginning of Israel’s military operation on July 8. Many kept wailing phones by their bedside; the app disrupted business meetings and dinner parties, synagogue services and, in one famous case that spurred more downloads, a live television interview with Israel’s ambassador to Washington.

Demonstrators in London this month protesting Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip. Emotions are running high.
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