Dozens of Israeli customers of the Orange cellular service provider received unexpected SMS messages on their phones Wednesday evening, with the English message:
"Now Now Now...Go out from your home Hizballah willing shelling of the area, Israel Government Cheating you And refuse recognition Defeat.”
It was not yet clear whether Hizbullah operatives were in fact behind the messages of intimidation, or whether the messages were no more than a joke in poor taste by other network subscribers.
Upon receiving the message, Shlomit Morad from Or Akiva next to Caesarea, told Ynet, “I immediately understood that someone managed to break into the Orange database and that it of course wasn’t a personal message. This is their psychological warfare. The message came from a foreign number and not a recognized number.”
Hizbullah rockets have not hit the Or Akiva area, some distance south of Haifa, although the terror organization has threatened to target areas south of Haifa such as Netanya and Tel Aviv.
“I immediately understood that it was related to the events here. My daughter also got the same message to her cell phone. I called Orange to report it, and they took all the details,” Morad added.
Regarding how she felt upon receiving the message, Morad said, “I’m generally stressed by the situation. But we can deal with this – it’s not as horrible as all the other things happening in this war.” But all the same, she did not completely disregard the cautions. “Maybe now it is our turn. We’re getting ready,” she said.
'Surprise, a little amused'
Uri Goldberg, a resident of Herzliya near Tel Aviv also received the SMS.
“I was surprised by the message, a little amused, but not particularly frightened. I’m not taking it seriously. I don’t think someone would send would send me a little message to warn of future bombardments. But I give them credit – they really could be sending text messages, it’s not completely unrealistic.”
Efrat, from the town of Rehovot next to Tel Aviv, received an identical message.
“We didn’t take it seriously. My father told me it was a number from abroad. He noticed that it wasn’t a number from within Israel.”
Rani Rahav, a spokesperson for Orange, responded that the text messages were coming from a small service provider “somewhere out there in the Pacific Ocean. We are working right now to block the provider from transmitting further messages to Orange customers.”
First report was received via the Ynet Red Mail .