With Hamas launching so many rockets and missiles in to Israel, it’s hard to know when the last one was fired.
Well, now you don’t have to rely on your own brain power to remember when the last air raid siren went off or the last Iron Dome intercept took place. A new online time counter does the work for you.
Launched (less destructively than the rockets it keeps track of) online Friday morning, the clock has already been viewed by thousands of people interested in knowing how long Israel has been rocket-free.
Israelhasbeenrocketfree.com is the brainchild of Aaron Friedman, the marketing manager at Curiyo in Jerusalem, who was looking for a way to concretize and visualize for people around the world what it has been like for Israelis to live lately under constant rocket fire.
Once Friedman, 29, had the idea for an online clock that would reset itself every time a rocket was launched, he connected with tech developer Yehonatan Tsirolnik through the MadeinJLM, a network for Jerusalem start-ups. Friedman, who lives in Efrat, and Tsirolnik, who resides in Pisgat Ze’ev, were strangers to each other.
Tsirolnik is just 18 years old and will work with computers when he is drafted to the IDF’s military intelligence unit in October. He did all the coding for the project in just two days.
“It was a bit of a challenge,” he told The Times of Israel.
The Israelhasbeenrocketfree clock is directly linked to the IDF Home Front Command system, so that it is automatically alerted to reset in real time as a rocket heads toward Israel.
“I wanted to do something that would have impact,” said Friedman, who made aliyah to Israel from Chicago with his wife and two children a year ago.
“Lots of my social media connections back in America really don’t have a sense of what it is like here when sometimes only minutes go by before the next barrage. I want people to really understand what is going on here.”
Tsirolnik was motivated by similar reasons to volunteer his time to help get the clock up and running. “I consider it a kind of hasbara, a way of helping my country,” he explained.
“The whole point is that the clock resets to show people how under attack Israel is,” Friedman said. “But, obviously, we hope that it won’t have to reset all the time and can keep running and running without interruption.”