JERUSALEM, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Israel Defense Force (IDF) Home Front Command on Sunday initiated a week-long test of an alert system that texts a message to cellphones located in areas likely to be hit in a missile strike.
The "Personal Message" system was developed in recent years and is expected to become operational within a month.
The system delivers area-specific warnings, based on projections of the incoming trajectory of an unguided rocket or ballistic missile.
The early-alert system is meant to offer more specific guidance to residents than existing air raid sirens.
Recent reports on a possible Israeli attack on Iran to halt its nuclear program have stirred up public concern over how to best prepare the home front.
However, sources at the Home Front Command told Xinhua that the experiment was already in planning stages, and that the test's timing does not imply an escalated chance of war.
As part of the drill, messages will be dispatched to assorted geographic areas, reading: "the Home Front Command, checking cellular system," followed by a serial number.
The messages will be sent in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and English, between 8 am and 6 pm. Israelis who do not want to receive the alerts can ask their cellular provider to remove them from the list.
Sources at the Home Front Command said that they hope the system would help save lives in case of emergency.
"Hopefully, this test would show us exactly how well this system operates within Israeli society and might help save unnecessary casualties in case of a looming war," the source said.
"It could help civilians who are not in a dangerous area carry on with their routine and also help save lives of those traveling on the road while an attack takes place," the source added, "If it could save just one person, then we've done our job. Hopefully we will be able to get the system working by next month."
In the future the system might also use as means to warn civilians in cases of earthquakes and other natural disasters.