Please note: It might be that this only works from cell phones. In general, of course, it’s best just to call 100, 101 or 102 (more info on that below).
Turns out it’s 911!
Sitting with me in Jerusalem yesterday, a friend of mine tried calling the European emergency number from his cell phone.
The phone showed that it was making an emergency call.
Then I tried. I called 911 from my Israeli cell phone and then 112. Both times, my phone said “Emergency call.”
I quickly hung up before anyone could answer so it is possible it would have been a Texan on the other end but upon doing a bit of research, it seems that in many countries, if you dial these numbers, you are forwarded to the local emergency service.
In wikitravel’s article about emergencies while travelling, it says:
On GSM phones, the number 112 is guaranteed to connect to emergency services, no matter what country you’re in. In a pinch, you can also try 911, which many countries forward to the local number.
I wonder if 100 works outside of Israel. I could just imagine calling it from the US and hearing on the other end:
Allo. Allo! Eich efshar la’azor?
FYI, emergency numbers in Israel
- 100 is police
- 101 is ambulance
- 102 is fire
Here is an excellent list of basic emergency and social service numbers in Israel.
And here is a list of emergency numbers around the world.