A new app that allows Israelis to make live video distress calls to emergency responders from their smartphones has been developed by a start-up named Reporty, which is chaired by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak.

The app, launched nationwide on Wednesday, allows emergency operators to view a scene live on video, chat with callers via text messages, and determine the locations of those in distress both indoors and outdoors. The app is expected to be particularly useful in the midst of an ongoing wave of Palestinian stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis in recent months.

Barak, who invested $1 million into Reporty, said he joined the initiative recognizing “that it is an important application with an excellent team.”

“From my personal experience I have seen that this is essential,” Barak said Wednesday at the launch of the app, according to Israel Hayom.

“At a time when the reality is so challenging, when terrorism and violence do not spare any country in the world, and at the same time people feel a growing need to be connected all the time, there is room for a comprehensive solution that will allow people to feel safe and connected. Reporty’s platform allows organizations and authorities to mobilize quickly and respond to terror attacks in real time, while minimizing the misuse of time and resources,” Barak said.