A Jewish-American charity group concerned about the ability of Israel's hearing-impaired residents to hear sirens during air raids announced a plan Friday to distribute thousands of beepers that would ensure they are alerted to any danger.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will begin immediate distribution of the beepers to some 49,000 completely or partially deaf Israelis, said Amir Shaviv, a spokesman for the charity."The device is a pager which can be worn on a watch or belt," Shaviv said. "When the wearer feels a vibration he can look at the screen and a warning message will print out."

The organization is most concerned about single persons who live alone, he said.

"If someone lives by himself and can't hear the sirens, he won't know to run to a shelter - unless someone else comes over and tells him to," Shaviv said.

He said Israeli air raid officials were expected to make sure the beepers went off at the same time sirens sounded.

Since war broke out between Iraqi and U.S.-led coaliton forces on Jan. 17 (Jan. 16 in the United States), Iraq has conducted numerous missile attacks against Israel.