Speaking before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed the need for a smartphone app that Israelis could use to call for help in the case of an emergency.
Netanyahu said that his office had conducted numerous meetings on how to increase security for Israelis in the wake of the recent terror assault by Arabs around the country. In some cases, individuals see suspicious people and want to alert someone, but are afraid police will not get there in time; in other cases they may be witnessing an attack but may be unable to intervene.
An app, Netanyahu said, would put people in trouble in touch with others in the area who could help them. Netanyahu’s perception of the app was that anindividual in trouble would press a button describing the problem he or she was facing, and others in the area would race to their assistance.
“With an app like this, Israelis will be able to summon security forces or rescue agents immediately, bringing help to deal with emergencies much more quickly, and neutralize terrorists or help victims.” While there are several apps already on the market that do this, Netanyahu sees this as a government project.
Last year, in the wake of the kidnappings and murders of Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, and Eyal Yifrah, the government funded an app that hitchhikers could use to indicate that they were in trouble. The app sends their location to a server, where security personnel are able to follow them and send rescue forces if needed.