The recent spate of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Jews has resulted in a surge in the number of daily calls made by worried Israelis to police emergency hotlines. While police normally receive about 600 calls a day reporting suspicious individuals, vehicles, or devices, that number has soared to 25,000.
Following a terrorist attack in central Tel Aviv on Thursday, Israeli civilians made more than 5,500 calls to the Tel Aviv District Police, more than 7,000 to the Central District Police, and more than 6,000 to the Jerusalem District Police. The police have taken notice of the spike in calls and have reinforced their dispatch centers with experienced officers to provide constant responses and assistance.
To address this rising panic, Rabbi Yisrael Rozen—founder and director of Zomet Institute, which is dedicated to the adaptation of technology to Jewish law—has ruled that it is permissible to carry a mobile phone on Shabbat for emergency use.
Meanwhile, the outdoor equipment retailer Rikushet reported a 400-percent increase in the purchase of self-defense products, mainly pepper spray. Other similar chains have also reported increases in the sales of pepper sprays, stun guns, clubs, and plastic restraints.
Rikushet CEO Dudi Mantin estimated that in the past week, Israelis have spent about $78,000 on self-defense products, Israel Hayom reported.
“We sold three weeks’ worth of inventory in a single day, about 100 items in total,” said Eyal Daniel, co-owner of the Haboleshet Spy Shop on Ibn Gavirol Street in Tel Aviv, the Times of Israel reported.
On Wednesday, Josh Carr, an immigrant from South Africa and former commander at the Israel Defense Forces’ Krav Maga martial arts instructor’s school, posted a Facebook invitation for Israelis to join “a free self-defense course.”
“The course will focus mainly on knife defense but will include basic fighting skills and how to react in an emergency situation. This course will not turn you into a superhero, however, it could save your life or the life of someone else,” he wrote.